Arsenal welcome Leicester City to the Emirates on Tuesday night.
Looking to put the weekend’s debacle at Tottenham behind them, here is everything Arsenal need to know to make sure they finish the game with all three points.
|Manager||Nigel Pearson…for now!|
|Home Ground||King Power Stadium (32,500)|
|Record Signing||Andrej Kramaric (£9.0m in 2015)|
|Ex Gunners||Matthew Upson|
|Top Scorer||Leonardo Ulloa (9)|
|Top Assister||Riyad Mahrez (3) Jamie Vardy (3)|
|Most Yellow Cards||Jamie Vardy (6)|
|Star Player||Kasper Schmeichel|
|Player Arsenal Need Most||Maybe we should stop doing this one…|
|Biggest Liability||Paul Konchesky|
STYLE OF PLAY
Since their last battle with Arsenal, Leicester have been down into League One and back, but after a swashbuckling Championship campaign last year, Nigel Pearson chose to keep faith with a large number of the squad who brought the club back into the big time.
It seems likely that decision will also take them straight back down into the Championship unless they can seriously arrest their terrible form.
Paul Konchesky’s form is a microcosm of Leicester as a whole, with a couple of excellent performances punctuating an otherwise depressingly poor season.
Last season’s player of the year, Danny Drinkwater, has failed to register a single goal or assist, while runner-up Vardy has just one goal and three assists to his name.
Instead, Leicester have increasingly relied on more of a long-ball style of play to supplement crossing into the box.
Arsenal will be aware of the threat since in this season’s previous encounter, it was Ulloa’s header from a Schlupp cross which earned the Foxes a point, even if it was largely because Koscielny was feeling the after effects of a head injury and was substituted almost immediately afterwards.
Winger Riyad Mahrez is back from representing Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, and is one of the few who have really stepped up this year.
Only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (3.6) and Alexis Sanchez (3.5) average more dribbles per game, and Mahrez is the one player who can make an individual difference.
Leicester demonstrated back in August their willingness to play a relatively high line and attempt to catch the opposition offside. Walcott’s pace and timing could surely be a key component if they continue this style away from home at the Emirates on Tuesday night.
SEASON SO FAR
Leicester started the season well, with two wins, two draws and a solitary loss from their opening five games despite having a squad significantly short on Premier League experience. A large part of this was the form of Ulloa, who scored five in his first five, including an equaliser against us.
Since then however, the goals have somewhat dried up – Ulloa has just two goals in the 19 games since, and Leicester themselves have just 12.
Indeed in late November they went over 500 minutes without a Premier League goal.
After Ulloa, left back/winger Schlupp is next highest with three Premier League goals and only Nugent, Mahrez and Cambiasso have more than a solitary effort to their name, with two apiece.
Defence, then, has been critical to Leicester, with three goals the most conceded to Manchester United (twice) and QPR.
11 of their 24 games have ended in a one goal victory margin – three of their four league wins have come from a 1-0 scoreline – and they have also secured a further five draws.
Part of this is down to their refusal to give up – Leicester came from behind twice against Everton on the opening day and from 2 goals down at Liverpool on New Year’s Day, as well as against us to earn a point back in August.
However, they also twice gave away a lead against Burnley to draw and took the lead in a 3-2 defeat to QPR.
It may take a couple of goals to put the Foxes down, but this a game Arsenal should have too much attacking talent for their struggling opponents.
For most Arsenal fans, their most important memory of Leicester is the 2-1 victory in the final game of the 2003-4 season.
Paul Dickov gave us a bit of scare when he put them ahead after 25 minutes but a penalty from Henry and a stunning assist from Bergkamp to Vieira ensured that Arsenal wrote their place in history as the Invincibles.
Right now, we’d take the scruffiest 2-1 as long as it brought with it the three points.
Arsenal’s last 5 results against Leicester: WWDWD
|League||31/08/2014||(A)||D 1-1||Arsenal: Alexis (20)
Leicester: Ulloa (23)
|League||15/05/2004||(H)||W 2-1||Arsenal: Henry (46) Vieira (66)
Leicester: Dickov (25)
|League||06/12/2003||(A)||D 1-1||Arsenal: Gilberto (60)
Leicester: Hignett (90)
|League||23/01/2002||(A)||W 3-1||Arsenal: van Bronckhorst (33) Henry (43) Wiltord (90)
Leicester: Izzet (68)
|League||25/08/2001||(H)||W 4-0||Arsenal: Ljungberg (17) Wiltord (28) Henry (77) Kanu (90)
Record for Arsenal v Leicester:
Overall record between the two clubs:
Leicester’s last 5 results: WLWLL
|League||Crystal Palace||(H)||L 0-1||–|
|League||Man Utd||(H)||L 1-3||Wasilewski|
|FA Cup||Tottenham Hotspur||(A)||W 2-1||Ulloa, Schlupp|
|League||Aston Villa||(H)||W 1-0||Konchesky|