Premier League 2018/19: Arsenal vs Leicester City, match preview
Arsenal take on Leicester City in a Monday-night fixture of the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium in a clash befitting two teams fighting for a place in the top six of the table. While the Gunners are fifth with eighteen points, having won nine games in a row across all competitions, their opponents are sitting at the tenth position with twelve points.
The Emirates' faithful will be urging their team on to their tenth victory in a row but Leicester are no pushovers. With players such as Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho hitting form at the right time, Claude Puel will expect some attacking football from his team.
The Unai Emery effect
Arsenal are playing brilliant football at the moment and have won nine games in a row. They are dominating the Europa Cup just as they are coming into their own in the Premier League. Alexandre Lacazette has shown everyone how valuable he can be and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems to be enjoying his new role as the supporter to the former.
Aaron Ramsey has led from the front and provided the Arsenal attacking line with excellent passes. Although he remains quiet, shy and understated, the Welshman has been crucial for the Gunners this season. Unai Emery, who was brought on as manager before this season as the replacement for the outgoing Arsene Wenger, has provided beautiful football for the fans.
Emery has also realised quickly that a flagging Mesut Ozil is not good for Arsenal and thus, has given him more confidence and freedom to express himself on the pitch. His fullbacks Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin have been flying down the flanks too.
Arsenal's fans have welcomed this change after the disappointing show last season and seem to believe that the Premier League title is not beyond their reach. However, their opponents on Monday, Leicester, the 2015-16 Premier League champions, will push them to the brink.
Iheanacho and Vardy can pose serious threats
Leicester City, on the other hand, come to the Emirates on the back of a 1-2 defeat to Everton at home on October 6. Their French manager Claude Puel, will be hoping to put it behind him when he takes on compatriot Emery on Monday. Although Leicester have played some good football, they haven't been able to turn out the results that they would have liked.
Jamie Vardy, Leicester's star, did not have a great start to the season and even ended up being red-carded against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kelechi Iheanacho came into his own later and led the team from the front. He has had a lot of influence on how Leicester have attacked and it is heartening to see.
The rise of James Maddison and Marc Albrighton has been fascinating, with the former already having taken the Premier League by storm. Fullback Ben Chilwell and centre-back Harry Maguire have defended with confidence and the latter has even chipped in with goals as and when required.
Leicester have a young team and they will come to London hoping to pull Arsenal out of their comfort zone. They will also try not to be remembered as the team over which the Gunners achieved a historic tenth straight victory.
Defence: Monreal, Sokratis, Mustafi, Bellerin,
Midfield: Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang.
Defence: Chilwell, Maguire, Morgan, Amartey,
Midfield: Ndidi, Mendy, Pereira, Iheanacho.
Attack: Maddison, Vardy.