Arsenal V Leicester Preview : Can Arsenal start the season right?
Event Venue: Emirates Stadium, Kick off: 19:45. Sky Sports.See Stats
The Premier League season is upon us once again and we're treated to a dose of Friday Night Football to raise the curtain. Arsenal will host 2016 champions Leicester looking to fight their way back into the top four that they failed to break into last season for the first time in 20 years. The Foxes, on the other hand, are looking to steady the ship after a turbulent campaign last term.
Arsenal may have lost to Chelsea 3-0 in pre-season, but then they beat them in the Community Shield on penalties without Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey or Laurent Koscielny. Arsene Wenger hasn't really made any significant strides to the team this year, but Alexandre Lacazette has arrived for £48 million and Sead Kolasinac looks like the steal of the summer after coming from Germany on a free transfer. Can Arsenal really keep up with their rivals? It seems like they haven't invested as heavily as everyone else in the top six (bar Spurs) and with Sanchez and Ozil in the last year of their contracts, the club is as unstable as it has ever been during Wenger's reign. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another player that has come into his own but could leave at a cut-price any minute, but Arsenal still have the tools to succeed in the realms of the top six.
On the comeback
Leicester went from top of the world as the most unlikely champions in Premier League history right back to reality by that Christmas. The Foxes were in danger of being relegated and couldn't by a win domestically, but in Europe, they were firing on all cylinders. Claudio Ranieri eventually paid the price for Leicester's dip in form and Craig Shakespeare swooped in to save the day. Jamie Vardy returned to form and we saw glimpses of the Riyad Mahrez that led them to the title two years ago. Over the summer, both Harry Maguire and Kelechi Iheanacho have arrived at the club to represent smart, young signings that can really build a side, but no one really knows if Mahrez, Demarai Gray or Chelsea target Danny Drinkwater are going to be hanging around. Their fate this season will depend on that, but they seem to be on the right tracks.
Leicester have put together a vibrant team, but Arsenal are so swift and fluid at home they are hard to live with. Under the floodlights of the Emirates Stadium, one could see a few goals going in and a safe bet would be to assume Arsenal would come out on top of that kind of battle. Lacazette may well open his account on the night, too.
- Arsenal finished fifth last season, outside the top four for the first time in 20 years
- Leicester won the Premier League as 5000/1 outsiders back in 2015-16
- Arsenal have signed Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for £48m
- Leicester man Riyad Mahrez was a target for Arsenal
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