Leicester City v Arsenal – The Champions and Runners-up meet early in the season for a feast of football?
Predicted Line-up and preferred Tactics
It is hard to predict how Wenger will line up against the Foxes this evening. In my previous post I picked my favourite 11 to both win the match and make a strong statement in the process. Having read Arsene’s comments over the last few days, I now reckon he will line up something like this:
It looks certain that Koz will start and Wenger also seems to be indicating that Alexis may start again up front. I am in favour of both decisions as Koz brings confidence and Sanchez has been a really good alternative to Giroud in the last two games. We scored six goals against City and Pool and that is a fine start to the season, especially as Giroud and Ozil – our top-scorer and top-assister last season – have not been seen on the pitch until now. Alexis is due a goal or two himself, and playing him central means that he does not have to work too hard and can ease himself back into top form.
With Ramsey out it is to be expected that Wenger will pick Santi for the nr10 position. On the wings, it is a choice between Theo, Ox and Campbell, as Iwobi is injured and Jack is probably not match-fit enough to start there. I would prefer the Costa Rican, but it looks like the speedy Englishmen will be preferred for this one.
This will be another battle of midfield and I wonder whether Wenger will stick with the ‘Dogs of War’ Elneny and Coq rather than introduce Xhaka from the start. My feeling is he will go safe and opt for the Swiss Maestro to come on later.
At the back the team picks itself, although some will argue that Gibbs should start ahead of Nacho. I reckon Wenger will stay loyal to Monreal, and he is also the sort of player who gets better and better the more he plays. I feel Wenger will not give up on Chambers easily and prefer him to Holding for today’s epic battle.
We know that LC prefer to play on the counter and I hope we will not make it that easy for them. They will sit back and absorb our pressure and then spring the counter with their new signing Musa, Vardy and Mahrez, supported by the impressive Drinkwater whenever possible.
I don’t want us to expose King Koz like that in his first game. It is likely to cost us dearly and lead to injuries, and not just to Koz. As the Foxes are at home, it is easier for us to sit back and force them to come out and play, and then we can have fun on the counter instead of them, with the likes of Ox, Theo and Alexis offering a great threat, especially if they are fed by Cazorla and Elneny (and by themselves of course).
So let’s play compact and with real discipline and not allow them space behind our midfield that leaves the defence exposed. Let’s also be patient and professional, with the aim to take all three points back home – even if it is ‘just’ with a 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!