Leicester v Arsenal: Back Foxes to fire in the goals

Leicester v Arsenal: Back Foxes to fire in the goals

Leicester v Arsenal: Back Foxes to fire in the goals

Foxes back firing on all cylinders

It’s fair to say Leicester are back on an even keel now after a slight sticky patch after two wins on the spin leaves them down in ninth still, but just three points off the Champions League places in a packed field behind the Premier League’s top three.

Brendan Rodgers’ side came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Burnley, then threw away a two-goal lead to draw with Crystal Palace by the same scoreline, but wins over Man Utd and Brentford since, plus a 4-3 thriller in the Europa league in Moscow, puts them in great spirits.

Leicester have won four of the last seven meetings after previously going 22 games against the Gunners without success, while Rodgers has better luck against them at home than away with four of his five wins as a manager coming on his home patch – three with Leicester and one each with Liverpool and Swansea.

The Foxes have games coming thick and fast as they progress in the Carabao Cup as well as playing in Europe, but Rodgers is trying to shuffle his pack accordingly to keep fighting on all fronts. Facing an in-form Arsenal side is a good test of Leicester’s progress this season.

Gunners going in the right direction

Has Mikel Arteta finally cracked it? There’s certainly some kid of feel-good factor about Arsenal after going nine games unbeaten since losing to Man City in August. As always with Arsenal though that confidence among some fans is paper thin as the world seemingly ended after back-to-back draws with Brighton and Crystal Palace.

Arteta still has a way to go as Arsenal’s resurgence has all come at the Emirates and their away form this season leaves a lot to be desired – with just one win and one goal scored in four road trips. In fact, only Norwich have had more shots on target than the Gunners’ nine away from home so far.

Overall it’s not been too bad though with just two defeats in their last 11 away league games and a record of W8 D3 L4 from away league games in 2021 is not the worst by any means, but it’s their passive nature and lack of attacking threat so far this season that is a worry.

The solution could be to keep with the attacking formula that worked so well against Aston Villa and field all of Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Buyako Saka in Arteta’s favoured 4-2-3-1 and try and take Leicester’s defence on.

Leicester can’t keep clean sheets so bank on goals

There’s almost nothing between these two in the betting with Leicester ever so slight favourites as the home team at 2.546/4 but Arsenal not far behind on 2.982/1 with the draw priced up at 3.613/5.

The Gunners won twice at the King Power last season and are looking for three wins in a row at Leicester for the first time since 1925.

Rodgers’ side do offer Arsenal hope that they can at least get more attacking joy from this away game as Leicester haven’t kept a Premier League clean sheet since the first game of the season and have just two in total from 14 games in all competitions this season.

Both teams have scored in 10 of those 14 games and goals have been flying in from all angles in Leciester’s games recently – with 25 in their last five outings and 18 in their last four home games alone.

That’s why both teams to score is just 1.715/7 and over 2.5 goals 1.8810/11 even though Arsenal’s away games have been real snoozefests in comparison. They sat back and offered little at Brighton and Burnley but they’ll be drawn into a goal-scoring battle so will have no choice but to go for it.

Over 3.5 goals at 3.02/1 is tempting but in the goals markets Leicester to score twice or more at 2.466/4 looks the pick of the bunch given they’ve managed that in their last four home games.

Plenty of shots expected

Arsenal may have been firing blanks away from home so far but this is an ideal chance for Arteta to play all his attacking talent and get some joy out of Leicester’s leaky defensive unit – and he has the firepower to do just that.

Aubameyang has four goals and an assist in his last six games, while young Gunners Smith Rowe and Saka have scored three goals, made three assists, created 27 changes and had 13 shots on target between them this season.

Both Smith Rowe at 2.01/1 and Saka at 2.111/10 are being undervalued in the shots on target market given their output this term, Smith Rowe in particular as he’s only failed to hit the target in one league game this season and that was at Man City.

For Leicester, Jamie Vardy seems to hold decent records against most teams but Arsenal are his favoured opponent as he’s scored more against them (11) than any other team in the league and he’s 2.47/5 to make it 12 goals and join Wayne Rooney as the top scorers against the Gunners in Premier League history.

There’s always a chance Arsenal serve up another dud but riding a decent run of form and confidence there’s every chance they at least give it a go, and even in if in a losing cause their young stars can land us a nice shots double at a decent price.