Former striker Alan Smith has predicted that Arsenal will come away with closely-fought away win at Leeds United tomorrow.
With four wins and as many defeats from their opening eight matches, the Gunners are still searching for consistency in the Premier League this season.
They were brushed aside by an upbeat Aston Villa side last time out, having shipped three goals in that fixture at the Emirates. That game unfolded exactly a week after a solid performance against Manchester United saw them earn a well-crafted 1-0 victory.
Leeds United, in 15th place at present, have conceded the joint-most goals this term - 17. Marcelo Bielsa's men have been on the wrong end of a 4-1 score line in each of their last two games.
"I'd have to fancy Arsenal," says Alan Smith on Leeds-Arsenal game
Arsenal have only managed to score nine goals thus far, an area that highlights their struggles in the final third.
They have lost three of their last four, and failed to find the back of the net in each of those defeats.
The match against Leeds could provide more space for Arsenal, as the hosts tend to leave lots of grass whenever they dart forward. Smith suggests the game is set to be open-ended:
“It’ll be quite an open game, this is what Leicester profited from and that might help Arsenal. It’s a difficult one to call as they always are after the international break, the coaches have only had their players back for maybe a day and a half or so. People come back at varying degrees of fitness and fatigue and it can be unpredictable."
Arsenal have a short-staffed midfield ahead of this game, as Mohamed Elneny tested positive for coronavirus and Thomas Partey endured a thigh injury. Despite this, Smith backed them to return with three valuable away points. He added:
“For Leeds to have lost their last two games 4-1, there’s pressure on them to bounce back and on Bielsa to fix what has gone wrong. I’d have to fancy Arsenal, they’ve got their own agenda and want to bounce back from the Villa game and get back to the levels they have achieved. Perhaps a close-fought away win.”
A win for Arsenal here would probably take them to the top half of the table.
Published 21 Nov 2020, 16:32 IST