The mood has been lifted by a north London derby win, but the fact remains that Arsenal have to start stringing results together.
The odd win here or there can be good enough for a cup run, but Arsenal need to sustain form to become a feared Premier League side again and go on to compete for the title.
Last weekend’s loss to Chelsea, drenched in controversy, seemed a big blow until Manchester City blew the chance to move eight points clear later the same day. Now Arsenal can respond against Leicester, who are currently unbeaten, and get a faltering title challenge back on track.
A confident Arsène Wenger faced the press on Friday morning, still upbeat after Wednesday night’s north London derby the success.
Among other things, the manager praised the mentality of the squad from the win at White Hart Lane and cited the game as evidence that he has a very strong group of players he can freely rotate.
The form of Alexis Sánchez has started to come under scrutiny, the Chilean came off the bench in midweek and is still in search of his first goal of the season but Wenger was quick to defend the Chilean.
“It takes time to settle and come back to your best,” said the Arsenal boss. “I’m not worried about Alexis and I’m confident he will score.”
With that in mind, we can expect the forward to return to the starting XI at the King Power stadium.
Francis Coquelin is out after he suffered a knee injury at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, so Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini could start. Santi Cazorla does return after his one-game ban but the club is still awaiting a verdict on Gabriel’s improper conduct charge and may be moved wide if Wenger reverts to the tried and trusted pairing of Arteta and Aaron Ramsey.
That’s not a huge concern with Per Mertesacker available once again. Petr Čech and Mesut Özil will surely come back in, while the manager will have to choose between Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott up front.
As we all know Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky are all out after operations.
Possible XI: Čech; Bellerín, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Ramsey; Cazorla, Özil, Alexis; Walcott.
Leicester City were the team Arsenal beat on the final day of the 2003/04 season to complete a season undefeated. Fast-forward to 2015/16 and, after six games, Leicester City are the Premier League’s last remaining side not to have lost a game. Can the Gunners put an end to that run?
No team has scored more than the Foxes so far this season, but they are fairly open at the back. While they’ve celebrated 13 goals in the opening six games, they’ve conceded nine.
Claudio Ranieri has his new team playing with confidence and freedom. With maverick talents like Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who already have four and five goals respectively this season, they are very dangerous.
Nathan Dyer, on loan from Swansea City, is missing for the hosts this weekend, but this shouldn’t change too much. Ranieri has named a familiar team in most games and rotated slightly in midweek. The League Cup game saw Leicester taken to extra-time against West Ham United, but a late winner and an extra day to rest compared to the Gunners should galvanise them for Saturday’s fixture.
Ranieri has only won one of his 13 meetings with Arsène Wenger, but this confident Leicester City outfit are a force to be reckoned with.
Possible XI: Schmeichel; Laet, Morgan, Huth, Schlupp; Mahrez, Inler, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Vardy, Okazaki.
Outfoxed or Outgunned?
It’s hard to imagine either side will sit off on Saturday.
Leicester, confident, scoring freely and at home, will surely look to take the game to Arsenal and get the crowd behind them to rattle Arsène Wenger’s men.
A calm approach might be needed by the Gunners, who could have a lot of defending to do at the weekend. Once that’s out of the way, chances should fall to us and it’s down to us to take them.