Leicester City vs Arsenal
If you had been asked at the start of the Premier League season to guess which of these sides would be in joint second and who would lie in 11th place going into the final weekend in February, the vast majority would have placed Arsenal above Leicester City in their estimates.
And why wouldn’t you?
Yes, Leicester had finished in fifth position, six points and three places above the Gunners last term, but that didn’t tell the full story.
For the Foxes had tailed off somewhat as the 2019/20 campaign reached its conclusion, being hauled back and pipped by Manchester United and Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification (at one stage in February they held a 14 point advantage over United).
At the same time, Arsenal were showing signs of improvement under new boss Mikel Arteta which culminated in memorable FA Cup and later Community Shields triumphs.
Granted, Leicester do not have the resources of any of those clubs but that was another reason why Arsenal were expected to finish above the East Midlanders this term.
That it has not happened – Leicester currently are 15 points in front of their opponents this Sunday – is testament to the work of the squad and coaching staff, headed by manager Brendan Rodgers.
This Sunday lunchtime clash has all the ingredients for Premier League highlights, less than 72 hours after both are involved in Europa League last 32 ties –just reward for their efforts last season.
An indication of the momentum in recent seasons is that Leicester have actually won four and drawn one of their last six top-flight matches against the Gunners – that’s one more than in their previous 36 top-flight league meetings.
They also have a secret weapon who just loves scoring against Arsenal – a side which tried to buy him in 2016/17.
For Jamie Vardy has scored 11 Premier League goals against Arsenal in 12 appearances – only Wayne Rooney (12) has netted more against them.
Aided and abetted by James Maddison (eight) and Harvey Barnes (nine) who are enjoying their best goalscoring season for the Foxes – between them, they’ve been involved in 19 of Leicester’s last 26 Premier League goals – and there should be no shortage of confidence in the home ranks.
Maddison missed out in their midweek Europa League tie with a hip injury, while Barnes was rested but both should be back for this. James Justin, Wesley Fofana, Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet and Wes Morgan remain sidelined with injuries.
It’s clear that an important transfer window lies ahead for Arteta as he continues to make progress this summer.
With Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey easing back to fitness, the former scored in midweek, the visitors should be at near full strength.
Arteta has also this week had to shrug off claims that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘past his best’ and has ‘lost his superpower’.
The manager is adamant his captain still has an important role to play at the club.
He reminded doubters of his talents in thrilling fashion in midweek and would love to do so again.
When Leicester won on Arsenal turf in October, it not only sent shockwaves around the Premier League but was their first triumph against them in North London since 1973.
Arsenal have won 67 of their clashes since the very first meeting in 1895 in the old League Division Two when Leicester Fosse defeated Woolwich Arsenal 3-1.
Overall, Leicester have 33 successes and a further 45 meetings have ended all square.
The matches last season saw Leicester win 2-0 at home with Vardy and Maddison the scorers followed by a 1-1 draw at the Emirates as Vardy’s equaliser cancelled out Aubameyang’s opener.
The sides have already met in the East Midlands this season, of course, when Arsenal won 2-0 in the third round of the League Cup courtesy of an own goal and Eddie Nketiah.
|Leicester City vs Arsenal||Over 2.75 @ 2.29|
|February 28, 20:00 (GMT+8)|
The SBOTOP Premier League betting odds make Leicester slight favourites and that won’t have happened very often in top-flight meetings with Arsenal.
You can back the Foxes 1X2 @ 2.50 and Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 2.19, whereas Arsenal are tipped 1X2 @ 2.79 and -0.25 @ 2.47.
If Leicester are to repeat their 1-0 success from October then the correct score betting will payout @ 8.25.
If you expect goals, then look no further than over 2.75 goals @ 2.29, total goal 2-3 @ 1.90 and 4-6 @ 3.60.
Over 2.75 goals @ 2.29 is my *** prediction.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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