Arsenal can score, they just need to get their act together in defence

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Aug 20th, 2016
2 Comments

Match Preview: Leicester vs Arsenal – Premier League – 20.08.16

alexis_walcott

A disappointing start to the season due to being short on players has become an all too regular occurrence of late. Arsène’s comments about Arsenal not being ready for the season after the home defeat to Liverpool was disheartening. We should be ready, we’ve had all summer to get ready.

That result was not without its moments of merit and I saw enough to think Arsenal can push on if they made the right additions. It’s vital to get points on the board as soon as possible and considering our next opponent is Leicester we’re already in a must win scenario.

Arsenal simply has to take all three points from the King Power stadium because we cannot afford to be 5-6 points behind our rivals after just two games. We saw how that turned out in 2014-15.

Leicester are in the same boat so this is likely to be another explosive encounter for the neutral to watch. My good friend and piratical libertine Kris Carpenter has just joined the esteemed ranks of Goonersphere writers and in his first column he explores how crucial Arsenal’s pace will be against the champions.

Wenger decided not to rush back Koscielny against Liverpool but despite the admirable efforts of Chambers and Holding it’s transparent that we need an experienced head to marshal the defence. The lack of a senior striker did not stop Arsenal recording 3 goals against Liverpool so if we can get our act together in midfield and defence we should be able to overpower a slow Leicester back line.

I’ll be honest and say I’m not feeling as optimistic as I usually would be going into a match but I do take some solace from the fact Arsenal were the only team to beat Leicester home and away last season. I’d like to predict a good win but my prediction skills need some fine tuning as my Super 6 and Fantasy League results will attest.

If you haven’t joined one of my many fantasy leagues you can use one of these codes to join in 530809-156719 or 530809-156720. I’ve also just started a new head to head league with FanDuel. What is FanDuel I hear you say. Big in US Fantasy Sports, FanDuel has built a game specifically for UK football fans. The concept is familiar – you have £100 million to build a team of 11 players which you can enter into as many contests as are available – some free, some with an entry fee. You can change your team right up to kickoff so you’re not at a disadvantage if a player is injured in the warm up or doesn’t travel.

The best thing about FanDuel is that no-one has the advantage. It’s a brand new system so even experienced FanDuel players won’t have an advantage. Scoring is a little different which allows for more diversity in the players you pick. For example, clean sheets only count for goalkeepers and outfield players are scored on tackles, clearances, blocks, interceptions, passes, assists and goals.

So how do you start? You register for a free account via this link, (deposit cash if you want but you don’t have to. You can get double your money through offers), you pick you line-up and enter a contest. It really is that simple.

As far as I can see there are no limits on players from the same club and I have 4 Arsenal players in my XI for this round of fixtures so I hope I’m not regretting that after.

Arsenal from: Cech, Ospina; Debuchy, Bellerin, Koscielny, Chambers, Holding, Gibbs, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka, Elneny; Cazorla, Özil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Campbell; Akpom, Walcott, Giroud.

Predicted Line-up

Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal; Elneny, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Walcott; Alexis

I expect to see substitute appearances from Xhaka and Giroud.

Match Quote

“We have to address our defensive weaknesses from last week without compromising our style of play. We need to continue being very dangerous going forward and accept the way we play.”  – Arsène Wenger

Last 3 Meetings

  • Arsenal 2-1 Leicester (14.02.2016)
  • Leicester 2-5 Arsenal (26.09.2015)
  • Arsenal 2-1 Leicester (10.02.2015)

Form Guide

Arsenal (Inc pre-season)
WWWWL

Leicester (Inc pre-season)
WLLLL

Opposition watch

Leicester suffered a torrid pre-season narrowly beating Oxford City before scraping past Celtic on penalties and losing heavily to PSG and Barcelona in the International Champions Cup. Their opening day loss to Hull was a bit of a shock but they will be keen to bounce back and we are precisely the sort of opponent they’ll want to make an example of.

Ranieri’s Foxes managed to – if you believe the papers – fend off two approaches from Arsenal for their two top performers in Mahrez and Vardy. Their entire team will be pumped for this match and those players in particular will be extra dangerous.

Factfile

  • Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals in his two previous league games at the King Power Stadium.
  • Leicester City are on a 19-match winless run against Arsenal in the Premier League (D6, L13) and lost both games last season.
  • Arsenal haven’t lost their opening two league games since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93.
  • Leicester’s only victory in the last 31 league and cup meetings came at home in the first Premier League fixture between the sides in November 1994.
  • Arsenal have only failed to score in one of the 27 most recent league encounters, when the sides drew 0-0 in January 2001.
  • Leicester City are the first reigning top-flight champions to lose their opening game since Arsenal in 1989. No defending champion has begun the following season with successive defeats since Aston Villa in 1981.
  • Defeat by Liverpool ended Arsenal’s 10-match unbeaten run.
  • The Foxes have scored a league-high 11 penalties since the start of 2015-16.
  • Leicester have played four Premier League games without Robert Huth in their starting XI over the last year and have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of them.
  • Claudio Ranieri’s next Premier League win will be his 100th in the competition.
  • The Gunners conceded four goals at home in the league last weekend for the first time since May 2009, and only the third time in total.

Stats courtesy of Opta

Prediction

2-1 to Arsenal. Alexis and Walcott to score.

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About "" - 475 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

2 Responses to “Arsenal can score, they just need to get their act together in defence”

  1. Me says:

    What is the point of giving pre-season form?
    Was it done to make the hopeless gunners look good ? like anyone is fooled that wins against FC Viking and MLS all stars is an achievement?
    Arsenal are useless – a so called “big club” that have no recognized center backs or strikers.
    A big club with small club ambitions managed by a clueless old idiot who is clearly suffering from dementia.
    Arsenal fans should vote with their feet – only then will Wenger and Kroenke leave and the club can move forward…

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I’m pleased you’ve taken precious time to leave such an insightful comment about Arsenal on my site.

      In answer to your question; I included pre-season form because my format has remained unchanged for years – I always give the last 5 results and what possible relevance could 4 matches from April/May have on the start of the new season? The answer to that rhetorical question is a damned sight less than pre-season.

      I’ll thank you not to use mental health slurs on this or any other site and request that you reevaluate how you choose to spend your free time. You are of course welcome to continue to troll Gooner sites but I’m sure there are more productive things you could be doing like volunteering at a food bank, handing out blankets to the homeless, working in your community with the elderly suffering from dementia or getting involved with local charities. Thank you for your interest in my affairs.

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