It’s a case of bouncing back as opposed to building momentum as Arsenal prepare for another tricky test, this time at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
They face last season’s champions, and considering both lost their opening game of the campaign, this fixture is all the more important.
Two consecutive losses could prove detrimental to both in their pursuit of the Premier League title – and even though neither side are heavily fancied to triumph in May, a victory could help kick-start their season before scrutiny becomes seemingly unbearable.
We came out on top in both of last season’s games, so they’ll have the psychological edge over Claudio Ranieri’s side, who only lost once more throughout the campaign.
After conceding four last weekend at the hands of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side, plenty of supporters and critics alike have been very clear about the importance of Arsenal signing a new central defender before the end of August.
Laurent Koscielny was pictured in the stands at the Emirates last Sunday during our 4-3 defeat, and although he had been given an additional break after his exploits with France at this summer’s Euro’s, it raised questions as to why he was not brought back into the fray sooner.
Arsène Wenger said Koscielny was “close” to full fitness after returning to training early last week, and remained firm on his spending stance saying:
“You are convinced I don’t want to spend the money, I assure you we are ready to spend the money we have got.”
Wenger also hinted at the fact he may take a gamble with one or more of the players who featured heavily at the Euros, including the aforementioned Koscielny. Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Alex Iwobi (thigh) have both been ruled out of action for three weeks. They could be in contention to face Southampton on September 10th after the upcoming international break.
Granit Xhaka, who only made a second-half substitute appearance last Sunday, is expected to start alongside either Mohamed Elneny or Francis Coquelin in midfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s excellent solo goal and overall contribution after being brought on in the second-half last week should be enough to see him start, whilst Theo Walcott is expected to retain his place.
Santi Cazorla’s presence was undoubtedly missed during the business months of last season and his 28-minute spell against Liverpool was impressive as he tallied two assists and completed 94% of his passing. He’ll be expected to start, fitness permitting.
Possible XI – (4-3-3): Cech; Bellerín, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla, Xhaka; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Alexis.
Leicester will be motivated to bounce back from their surprise defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Hull City last weekend, and they’ve proven they are more than capable of doing so.
Unlike their opposition, the Foxes have no fresh injury problems but will be without the towering figure of Robert Huth at the back. Luis Hernandez is therefore expected to feature from the offset alongside Wes Morgan, while pacey new acquisition Ahmed Musa is more than likely set to retain his place along with Jamie Vardy.
With a large portion of the pre-match build-up revolving around Vardy rejecting an Arsenal move, as well as Riyad Mahrez’s new contract extension, the attacking duo will be in focus for all to see in Saturday’s 5.30pm kick-off.
Possible XI – (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Simpson, Hernandez, Morgan, Fuchs; Mendy, Drinkwater, Gray, Mahrez; Musa and Vardy.