Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, April 2 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET) 
Match Odds: Arsenal 2/1 – Draw 13/5 – Manchester City 5/4

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Manchester City to The Emirates on Sunday afternoon in one of the standout fixtures as the Premier League returns this weekend.

This is quite possibly Arsenal’s biggest game of the season. They are in 6th place, six points outside of the top four but do have two games in hand on four of the five sides above them. If Arsenal lose this they are going to really struggle to make up the gap in the remaining fixtures of the season.

The pressure on Arsene Wenger seems to intensify with every passing game at the moment. Arsenal have lost four of their last five league games and are seriously risking not finishing in the top four.

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Manchester City are 12 points off the top of the table but while the league is still mathematically winnable they have to continue to fight for the title.

Pep Guardiola’s side need to finish second at the very least to make some success of their domestic season. This game is the second of their three grudge matches in a row. They’ve already avoided defeat to Liverpool in their last fixture and a win here before they face Chelsea would be a huge result for their confidence.

City are in a strong run of form. They have won three of the last five, picking up 11 points from a possible 15. It’s been three clean sheets away from home in a row for City and a fourth here is a big ask.

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Team News

Arsenal’s injury woes didn’t get any better before the international break as Petr Cech looks set to be out for around a month following his injury in the loss to West Brom. Wenger will still be without Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy, while Kieran Gibbs may return. Alexis Sanchez should be fit and ready to play after starring for Chile but Mesut Ozil’s status remains unclear.

Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna withdrew from international duty over the last week and a half, whether or not they will feature here remains to be seen.

Arsenal’s form: L/L/W/L/L

Manchester City’s form: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Pressure on Wenger – Arsenal have lost four of their last five Premier League games.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Manchester City striker is key to his side taking three points here. He is going to have to deliver, which shouldn’t be a problem given that he has the ability to score against the very best as he so often proves.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City – Manchester City to heap more pressure on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. The Gunners are in a really difficult patch of form and could do without having to face a City side who have hit some form.

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Arsenal should do everything possible to sign these players to help their defensive issues

Gameweek 29 saw another weekend of frustration for Arsenal fans. Their 3-1 defeat away to West Brom continued to heap pressure on underperforming players and Arsene Wenger. Regardless of whether Wenger stays at the end of the season the Arsenal defence is in need of some serious changes. These three defenders could certainly improve their solidity at the back and help to provide a core to ensure they are able to challenge on all fronts once again…

Alessandro Florenzi

Arsenal have lacked world-class fullbacks throughout the last decade and they are still trying to find a solution for the position. While Hector Bellerin has been consistent going forward, he is susceptible to defensive errors at the back. Alessandro Florenzi has been impressing at both club and international level with Roma and Italy. At just 26 he is now regarded as one of the best right-backs in Europe and would be a welcome addition to any Premier League title-challenging side.

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Layvin Kurzawa

Left-back is definitely a position Arsenal need to address. Kieran Gibbs has been playing at a steady level for some time but he hasn’t shown any signs of taking that step up to elite. Nacho Monreal has been a good squad rotation player but there is little chance he would make it into many of the best clubs in Europe. Layvin Kurzawa has been continuing to improve at Paris Saint Germain and possesses good qualities both offensively and defensively. He is fearless into challenges and confident on the ball. The Premier League may well appeal to Kurzawa and he certainly be a step in the right direction.

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Aymeric Laporte

Arsenal are not a million miles away from getting their centre back partnership right. Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have put in some excellent performances as a paring but it’s depth that has let Arsenal down. Per Mertesacker and Gabriel do not fill the fans with confidence when called upon and again, would struggle to make it into the first team for Europe’s elite clubs. Laporte would offer good cover and could potentially strike up a good partnership with Koscielny as a fellow Frenchman.

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Whether or not Arsenal will go in for any of these three defenders remains to be seen but they are in desperate need of reinforcements at the back. Their transfer policy is still clearly to work within a budget and with that in mind they should be able to afford at least two of these three.

Would these three defenders improve Arsenal? Should they be targeting anyone else?

Could these three players be leaving Arsenal as well as Alexis Sanchez?

It’s no secret that there is some trouble behind the scenes at Arsenal. Once again their fans are having to deal with mid-season struggles as well as some discontent in the squad. This summer could mark the biggest changes at the club in recent history, with the possibility of Arsene Wenger leaving and a number of players who could be departing the club.

There has been plenty of uncertainty over the future of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean has looked a lifeless figure at times, not helped in part to his attitude according to fans and pundits alike. If the goal-machine does decide to ply his trade elsewhere it could spark an exodus from a number of other members of the Arsenal side. But a possible departure of Sanchez may not be the only reason these three players decide to knock their time in North London on the head…

Mesut Ozil

The German playmaker is one of the most talented players in the Premier League, whether or not he puts in enough effort and does it on a consistent basis is another question. He has appeared very happy since joining the club and has a good relationship with Wenger. If both Sanchez and Wenger were to leave Ozil’s mind may be swayed. He is 28 now and Arsenal’s chances of winning the league have all but passed for another season and they’re heading out of the Champions League barring an astonishing turn-around. Ozil is a winner and another season without the top prizes could prove to be too much for him.

If another high profile European club came in for his services Ozil could be convinced to leave the club. He will want to continue to compete at the top and there are no guarantees that Arsenal are going to finish in the top four in what looks like the tightest race for the European places to date.

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Santi Cazorla

Cazorla has made just 11 appearances in all competitions this season due to a long-term injury. The Gunners have definitely missed his influence on games and other players have suffered from his work-rate being absent from the side. The Spaniard’s contract is up this summer and a new one has yet to be confirmed.

While we’re not suggesting Cazorla is definitely going to depart, he may decide to call it time at the end of his 5th year at the club in favour of a change up and a better chance of silverware. At 32 he has a lot to offer still and many clubs would be interested in his abilities.

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Jack Wilshere 

When talking about Wilshere it’s already looking like a case of ‘what could have been’ – the Englishman has had absolutely no luck with injuries, but it’s worth mentioning his time at Bournemouth has seen him play on a more regular basis. The loan move to the South Coast was a bit of a strange transfer at the start of the season and although Wilshere hasn’t necessarily had the number of assists expected from him, he has looked happier playing week in, week out.

Whether Wilshere and Arsenal decide to part ways at the end of the season remains to be seen, but if he has any feeling that a return to club entails time spent on the touchline he may just fancy the chance at another Premier League club.

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Could Arsenal afford to lose all three of these midfielders as well as Sanchez? Is it time to revamp the squad in a bid to win the Premier League again?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Arsenal 

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, February 4 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 29/10

Match Preview 

It’s a huge game in the Premier League title race as Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the standout fixture of the weekend.

If Antonio Conte’s side win this one they will be 12 points clear of Arsenal at the top of the league, which given Chelsea’s form, would almost certainly put The Gunners out of contention for the title.

Chelsea come into this one having drawn 1-1 away at Liverpool in midweek. It was a solid point but they’ll be ruing a missed opportunity to have extended their lead at the top of the table as results went their way on the most part. Diego Costa’s penalty was saved in the latter stages of the game, he’ll be looking to make up for that in this one.

There will be an added hunger for Chelsea to win this game as they were hammered in the reserve fixture, 3-0 early on in the season, many have dubbed that the game that won Chelsea the league, as it inspired Conte’s changes and sparked their tremendous winning run.

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Arsenal have to win this game. They lost in midweek at home to Watford a game which has dealt them a significant blow and they need a response.

Arsene Wenger’s side found themselves two goals behind in the first 15 minutes of that game, if their defensive struggles are repeated in this one they will be in for a long afternoon.

The Arsenal squad are going to need to step up here, they cannot afford to allow Chelsea to gain any momentum. What worked so well for them in the reserve fixture was a highly intense start, but they’re all too aware this is a different Chelsea side altogether.

Just five points separate second and fifth place in the table, if results go against Arsenal this weekend they could find themselves outside the top four.

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Team News  

There are no real injury concerns for Chelsea heading into this tie. David Luiz and Eden Hazard are expected to start the game despite picking up slight knocks in midweek.

Arsenal are expecting to be without Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy and Aaron Ramsey through injury, while Grant Xhaka is suspended and Mohammed Elneny remains on international duty.

Key Points 

Chelsea’s form: W/L/W/W/D

Arsenal’s form: W/D/W/W/L

Key Stat: Chelsea have won their last eight home games in the Premier League.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The Belgian had a quiet game against Liverpool but if plays to his usual high standard he will cause the Arsenal defence problems.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal – Chelsea to come through a difficult week of fixtures unbeaten and land a heavy blow to Arsenal’s season. This has the makings of a tight affair and it is a game that has a history of boiling over as emotions run high.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Burnley

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal  vs. Burnley

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, January 22 – 14:15 GMT (09:15 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 1/5 – Draw 11/2 – Burnley 12/1

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a game which The Gunners will be expecting to win.

Arsene Wenger’s side are currently in fourth place, eight points off top spot. Wenger needs to get his side on a run of form to ensure they don’t drift too far out of the title race and maintain a game from the Manchester clubs chasing the top four.

This should be a relatively straightforward tie for Arsenal, but they will know they cannot afford to underestimate Burnley. If they can get an early goal and create a good atmosphere around the ground, they should get the job done.

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Burnley have been in good form of late. Sean Dyche’s side have picked up nine points from the last five games and are sitting 10th.

The Clarets come into this one having progressed in the FA Cup after their replay win against Sunderland. Their last Premier League outing was an impressive 1-0 win against Southampton.

Burnley have struggled on the road this season though. They have lost eight of their last nine on their travels and the games don’t come much tougher than this. If they can put on a defensive display like they did against Manchester United, they stand a good chance of a positive result.

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Team News

Arsenal’s injury woes continue. They could be without up to seven players for this one as Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker are all expected to remain out, while Olivier Giroud is a doubt. Mohammed Elneny is away on international duty with Eygpt at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Burnley have just the three injury concerns as Dean Marney, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Scott Arfield are all doubts.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: L/W/W/D/W

Burnley’s last five: L/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have won their last five games against Burnley in all competitions.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal need to get this man tied down to a long-term contract as soon as possible. The Chilean has netted 14 times this campaign and is the Premier League’s joint top scorer. He will be expected to cause Burnley trouble here.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 3-1 Burnley – Arsenal to pick up a comfortable three points and continue their winning run against Burnley. The Gunners have struggled to keep clean sheets this campaign and Burnley are capable of causing problems, but this one will be a step too far for Dyche’s men.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Burnley vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Burnley  vs. Arsenal

Venue: Turf Moor – Sunday, October 2 – 16:30 BST (11:30 ET)

Match Odds: Burnley 15/2 – Draw 19/5 – Arsenal 4/11

Match Preview

Burnley welcome Arsenal to Turf Moor in the final game of the Premier League weekend in a tie that has the makings of a cracker.

Burnley will be full of confidence. They were given little hope by many ahead of their game against Watford last time out, but won 2-0 and picked up a valuable three points.

Sean Dyche’s side sit 13th, already four points ahead of the bottom three. They must make Turf Moor a difficult place to visit to ensure they pick up as many points as possible early in the season.

Burnley know they’re in for a tough one this weekend. They have lost their last four games against Arsenal, but they will be looking to frustrate their opposition here and come away with a positive result.

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Arsenal couldn’t be more confident heading into this tie. They destroyed Chelsea last weekend, ending a long winless run against their London rivals and will be looking to mount a title challenge off the back of that result.

Arsene Wenger will be pleased with how his side have performed over their last four league games, they have taken maximum points and scored 12 goals along the way.

Arsenal have to kick on and look to take all three points in games like this if they are to mount a successful title challenge this season.

The Gunners haven’t looked as dangerous and clinical in front of goal as they did last weekend for some time. If Burnley give them chances here they will be punished.

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Team News

Burnley have just the one injury concern as Ashley Barnes looks set to remain out.

Arsenal still have a whole host of injuries. Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker, Carl Jenkinson, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin are all expected to miss this tie.

Key Points

Burnley’s last five: W/L/D/L/W

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have won their last four matches against Burnley.

Key Player: Theo Walcott – The Englishman has been in fine form. He is thriving having Wenger’s confidence instilled in him and looks dangerous every time he comes forward.

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Score Prediction

Burnley 1-3 Arsenal – This one looks like it has the makings of being one step too far for Burnley. They have looked bright in games this season and certainly don’t look set for struggles in the coming weeks so long as the squad remains fresh and morale stays high. Arsenal have to take all three points in this one to keep pace at the top.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Saturday, September 24 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 13/10 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 19/10

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome their London rivals Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening in the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend.

Arsenal seem to have got over their slow start in their opening two games and have now won three league games on the bounce.

The Gunners come into this one level on points with Chelsea, but are ahead in table on goal difference, they will be keen to continue their winning run here.

Arsenal advanced in the EFL Cup in midweek with a convincing win 4-0 win and they won 4-1 against Hull last weekend, so confidence is high among Arsene Wenger’s men.

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Chelsea bounced back from their defeat against Liverpool last weekend with a 4-2 over Leicester in the EFL Cup in midweek.

It looked like Antonio Conte’s side were going to lose their second on the bounce before really turning on the style in midweek, with practically every attack coming through Cesc Fabregas.

Chelsea haven’t won in two in the league and, like Arsenal, are already five points off the top. This is a must win game for both sides.

The Blues haven’t lost in their last nine Premier League games against Arsenal and haven’t even conceded in the last six of those. This is going to be a tough tie and that run of clean sheets against their rivals looks likely to come to an end here considering how easily their defence has been breached this season.

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Team News

Arsenal’s season is already being troubled by injuries, an all too familiar story for their fans. Olivier Giroud, Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson, and Gabriel Paulista are all expected to miss out here.

Chelsea are still expecting to be without Kurt Zouma, while there is still no word on a return date for captain John Terry.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: L/D/W/W/W

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: Chelsea haven’t conceded a goal against Arsenal in the last six Premier League meetings between the sides.

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Chelsea forward has already bagged five goals this season. He has previous with Arsenal and isn’t popular among their fans. He is Chelsea’s best chance of coming away with all three points in this one.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea – Arsenal to bring their winless and goalless run against Chelsea to an end here. The Gunners are in fine form now, while Chelsea are still struggling defensively. Like the majority of games from this fixture down the years, we can expect action and controversy all the while Diego Costa is on the field.

Weekend focus: Arsenal, Hull & Spurs – what to expect

We’re closing in on another action packed round of Premier League fixtures. The ‘weekend focus’ series picks three games and looks at what to expect. This time around we’re looking at Arsenal‘s trip to Watford, whether Hull City can keep their run going and if Tottenham Hotspur can overturn Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

Pressure on Arsene Wenger: 

Arsenal have picked up just one point from a possible six so far and their trip to Watford on Saturday afternoon isn’t going to be an easy one.

The Gunners have drawn their last four away games in the Premier League.

Arsenal managed just four shots on target in their game against Leicester last time out, their defensive performance was much better than their opener but they looked sluggish and out of ideas in the final third.

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Verdict: The pressure will pile on Wenger if they fail to win again. He will have just under five days left to make any signings by the time they have played on Saturday.

Can Hull remain 100%?

Hull City have stunned pundits and fans alike with their opening two performances of the season, winning both games. They’re one of only four clubs to have a 100% record in the league so far.

The Tigers haven’t beaten United in eight attempts in the Premier League, losing seven and drawing one, so this is going to be a big ask.

The last meeting between these two was a 0-0 draw, a result Hull would settle for in this one. However this tie ends up they’ve had a great start to the season and they’ll be full of confidence.

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Verdict: Hull to find this a very difficult tie against a United side who will be expecting to take all three points. 100% record to come to an end.

Will Spurs put an end to their winless run against Liverpool?

Tottenham Hotspur haven’t beaten Liverpool in the last seven meetings between the sides in the Premier League, conceding 19 goals along the way.

Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August in nine games but he’ll be feeling confident of facing Simon Mignolet – the Liverpool ‘keeper has conceded the last five shots he has faced.

Spurs have lost just one of their last nine home games in the league, picking up 20 points along the way, they’ll be itching to bring that winless run to an end.

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Verdict: Spurs have lacked cutting edge in the final third in their opening two games, while Liverpool have been conceding goals they have also scored nine in all competitions. Draw.

What do you think will happen in these three games?

Weekend recap: United impress, what do Arsenal and Liverpool lack?

The second Premier League weekend of the season has passed with some surprising results. So here are our top three picks. 

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United impress:

Manchester United played out the first Friday night football of the season at home to Southampton. Although possession favoured the visitors early on, United dominated on the most part. They barely got out of second gear and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s two goals showed exactly why he was signed. Paul Pogba looked comfortable on his second debut.

But for some hesitation in decision making in the final third, United could have easily scored two or three more. Southampton had a couple of decent half chances as they broke through United’s defence, something Mourinho will be looking to iron out in training this week.

A relatively easy win with United looking the part.

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More calls for Arsene to spend as Arsenal held:

An all too familiar story for Arsenal fans in this one. They struggled throughout to break down a resilient Leicester and any chances that presented themselves were not taken. Leicester felt they should have had a penalty late on and they had a case.

The return of Laurent Koscielny was welcomed by the Gunners and Petr Cech showed his class once again, but Arsenal are already five points behind the Premier League leaders.

Wenger still needs a centre back and centre forward.

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Klopp’s Liverpool stunned by Burnley:

The shock result of the weekend was undoubtedly Liverpool‘s 2-0 away defeat to newly promoted Burnley. Jurgen Klopp’s side had 26 shots but failed to breach the Burnley backline.

This could well be a one off for Liverpool, they had plenty of chances and 81% possession but it was just ‘one of those games’ – they impressed offensively in their opener but have already shipped in five goals.

Liverpool need to tighten up at the back and take their chances but it is not the time to panic.

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Who impressed you the most this weekend? Should Arsenal and Liverpool be looking to make signings?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Arsenal

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, August 20 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 19/10 – Draw 13/5 – Arsenal 13/10

Match Preview

Leicester City welcome Arsenal to the King Power Stadium late on Saturday afternoon in a tie both sides will be desperate to win after disappointing opening weekend performances.

The champions come into this one off the back of their 2-1 defeat to Hull, a result that not many would have predicted.

Claudio Ranieri’s side looked stuck for ideas on how to break down their resilient opponents. They may well be better suited to this tie as it will be more open, meaning they will have more chances to express their counter-attacking play.

Leicester will be looking to exact some revenge on Arsenal as they were thumped 5-2 by the North London side at home last season.

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Arsenal’s 4-3 loss in their opener against Liverpool has heaped more pressure on Arsene Wenger. It’s clear they have what it takes to break opponents down as they scored three, but the biggest concern for fans is their lacklustre defence.

Wenger’s injury list just seems to keep on expanding and another week has passed without any transfer activity at the club.

Arsenal come into this one under the spotlight. They cannot afford to lose their opening two games for the risk of already being six points behind their title rivals.

Worryingly for Arsenal they face a Leicester side who had impeccable home form in their title campaign. The Gunners drew their final three away games in the Premier League last season so it will be interesting to see if they can break that trend and take all three points here.

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Team News

Leicester City have no injury concerns. Ranieri will more than likely opt for a similar starting lineup as he did against Hull. The Foxes have had a huge boost this week as Riyad Mahrez penned a contract extension, ending any uncertainty over his future.

Arsenal’s squad is still taking shape. As we know Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud returned to training late after Euro 2016. On top of Arsenal’s current injury list of Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson, both Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi were forced off in the game against Liverpool. The two latest setbacks increased their injury list to seven players and Arsenal could have up to ten players out here, including the trio who returned late from the Euros.

Key Points

Leicester City’s last five: L

Arsenal’s last five: L

Key Stat: Fortress – Leicester City are unbeaten in their last 15 home outings in the Premier League.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – There will be added pressure on Arsenal after their opening day defeat and they need their key players to work even harder considering how many regulars are absent. Sanchez has the ability to cut apart any defence and he will be expected to provide in this one.

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Score Prediction

Leicester City 1-2 Arsenal – Arsenal to get off the mark and narrowly beat a Leicester side who would not have been expecting to lose their first two games of the 2016/17 Premier League season.