Tuesday’s game against Leicester in the Premier League is almost upon us.
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we’ve gotten our writers together for a short prediction on how they think the game will pan out.
And if you think we’re just going to throw these predictions out there and then forget about them, fear not.
We’ll be back to take a look at how we did and laughing at the person who got it wrong more than anyone else.
Lee Hurley Win 5-0
One of two things is going to happen on Tuesday night – either Arsenal will spank Leicester or they will struggle to get a point.
With changes expected at the back and maybe even a debut for Gabriel as Arsene Wenger looks to rotate to keep his players fresh, Leicester’s struggles in front of goal offer the perfect opportunity for change.
Up top, with Alexis back, even if it’s on the bench, and Theo Walcott likely to start, Arsenal are going to have too much pace and power for the side bottom of the league.
Previously when we’ve looked to bounce back after a defeat, it’s been a heavy one and defending has, first-and-foremost, been the order of the day, but I don’t see any such need for caution like this against the Foxes.
Prediction: Realising I will look plenty stupid, I fancy another Villa-type display and a 5-0 win to go with it to add to Nigel Pearson’s woes.
Helen Trantum Win 4-0
Leicester have only won two league games since September’s 5-3 dismantling of Manchester United – a 1-0 home win over the Villa side we dismantled 5-0 last time out at the Emirates and a 1-0 away win over the Hull side that spectacularly failed to turn up when they visited us for an FA Cup tie back in January.
Arsenal on the other hand have only lost two games in a row once all season, when a disappointing 2-1 away defeat to Swansea was followed by an equally disappointing home loss to Man Utd in a game we really should have won by putting away any of our excellent chances.
Walcott must surely start after his surprising omission at the weekend, while Ozil and Cazorla may be the keys to unlock a Foxes defence which I expect to be packed with bodies. It is as yet unclear just how fit Alexis is, and surely no chances will be taken if there is any doubt, with the important run of fixtures which lies ahead.
Leicester are averaging 3 shots on target per game, so the Law of Arsenal says we may need four to win this one, but I’ll back our attack to score those four. A home crowd, an opponent lacking confidence and a need to bounce back immediately should mean that unlike at the weekend, the first goal will prove decisive in determining the final outcome.
Prediction: 4-0 Arsenal.
Stephen Bradley Win 2-0
After Saturday’s disappointing display, the chance to get the result out of everyone’s mind and make up lost ground as soon as possible is nice to have and if there was anyone you’d want to play against, it’s this Leicester team, a side completely out of form and with its manager under extreme pressure to keep his job.
But we cannot just assume that the Foxes will turn up and roll over.
Many of the players who start this game will likely be rested for the Middlesbrough game on Sunday, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t start with a high tempo and maintain it throughout the game.
I’d be shocked if Leicester repeated Villa’s mistake of deploying a high line of defence, especially if recent recruit Robert Huth plays.
I’m expecting us to have lots of possession whilst trying to pick our way through the 924583683 bodies that surround their area.
Prediction: It’ll be a frustrating watch, but at the end, a comfortable 2-0 win.
Paul Williams Win 2-1
Ordinarily, ahead of a home match against Leicester, I think you’d be predicting a comfortable win.
However, I think that coming off the back of Saturday’s disappointment against the unmentionables, Tuesday’s game may be tighter than we’d like.
That being said, for all the disappointment the players are undoubtedly feeling, it was just one game. When you set that against a hugely encouraging month, I don’t see any reason to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Or predict anything other than a home win for the Gunners.
After his surprising omission on Saturday, I would expect Theo to come back in and perhaps we might see a couple of changes at the back.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal.
Sylvain Jamet Win 3-0
I expect a big reaction from the players after the NLD defeat.
Expecting squad rotation for the forward players with Walcott and Sanchez starting, maybe Rosicky as well to bring back some missing impetus.
Prediction: Leicester are not a big threat so I would think an early goal and a 3-0 win.
Lewis Ambrose Win 3-0
I’m expecting a big response to Saturday.
I don’t know why, but I don’t feel like the players will let the disappointing result at the weekend get them down and will be looking to make some sort of amends.
Leicester play with two strikers but that probably won’t stop this from being a game of attack v defence, even if they don’t want it to be.
Alexis will probably come back in, and we will definitely play with more attacking verve at home.
It’s our first midweek game in ages and I wonder if Gabriel will make his bow, giving Koscielny’s Achilles a rest.
A fast-paced start would stand us in good stead.
Giroud and Alexis to score. Ramsey to grab one too as he steps up just in time for Jack Wilshere’s return.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Leicester City.
Nia Griffiths Win 3-0
Moving swiftly on from our last match (what match? There was no match…), I reckon our home game against Leicester is a perfect opportunity for the team to put things right.
Our last performance against them wasn’t fantastic and only resulted in a draw. However, I think this time we’ll manage a pretty straight forward win and keep a clean sheet.
As much as I’d love the team to come screaming from the changing room with war paint smeared across their faces, I do think we’ll start off timidly. Leicester, on the other hand, will have seen our game against That Lot and will probably fancy themselves to get something, so may start a little stronger.
They’ll probably pile a ton of pressure on Bellerin and lob most balls down the right to try and catch him out, so hopefully he’ll have sorted his positioning by then.
However, after the first third, they’ll realise that we are actually not as terrible as our last match would suggest and will sit back, happy to take what they can get.
Prediction: Arsenal to win 3-0 and I fancy Ozil to get another goal, perhaps Cazorla and Walcott, if he gets a start.
Andi Foster Win 3-1
I’m going to put my normal scepticism aside for this game.
Yes, Arsenal dropped points at the weekend, but I’m hoping it was more of a hiccup rather than a season derailing disaster, not that this season has ever really been on the rails for a great amount of time.
I expect Arsenal to kick back into gear against Leicester as the Foxes are struggling and are very likely to go down.
Confidence is low and as rumours about Pearson’s future continue so it’s hard to see them expecting a result against us.
It might not be pretty but Arsenal will get the three points.
Prediction: I’ll go for 3-1 (or any result that sees Arsenal winning by a 1 goal handicap) [EDIT- picking more than one result is cheating!]
Sean Ferguson Win 3-0
After the disappointment of the North London Derby we need to bounce back with a win.
You’d hope a home game against the leagues strugglers is a great game to bounce back and build some confidence. It’ll be interesting to see who plays and against a team like Leicester I’d like to see Walcott run at that backline for 90 minutes. It’s these kind of games we’ll control the tempo of and win the midfield battle.
An early goal could really put us on the way to a healthy scoreline.
Prediction: I think we’ll sweep past them, a good 3-0.
Mark Fine Win 2-0
Plenty of factors come into play for the Leicester match in Arsenal’s favour. First and foremost it’s mid-week, and not an early game, Saturday.
Not sure if it’s psychological, but but we tend to not work on all cylinders on early matches, and dominate on late ones.
The match is at home, where we’ve been playing a lot freer and more aggressive lately. We also tend to rebound from disappointing results, specifically losses, in a big, big way.
Leicester are no longer the side everyone saw in the first half of the season.
They are far from the same plucky team that came out of nowhere to beat Manchester United in September.
Bottom of the table, they have only won twice since United: a 1-0 to Hull on 28 Dec and 1-0 to Aston Villa on 10th Jan.
They have a small squad that has been besieged with injuries to key, experienced players (most recently Kasper Schmeichel) and are only starting to come back from that now.
The Foxes are also a side in turmoil, as rumours continue to circle around Nigel Pearson.
Not saying this is going to be a cake-walk, but I do see a 2-nil to the Arsenal.
Prediction: Tricky moments, but a 2-0 win.