Arsenal kicked off with a good win against Crystal Palace in their opening Premier League game and they can back up their strong start against Leicester this weekend.
Looking at the top sports betting sites (catch up with our online sportsbook reviews here) its clear that bookmakers have reacted strongly to Arsenal’s strong start to the campaign. The Gunners won 2-0 against Crystal Palace in their opening fixture and are as short as -210 to earn a second win here. The draw is as high as +370 and the visitors Leicester City can be backed at +590.
An away tie against improving London rivals is exactly the sort of start to a Premier League campaign that would usually have Arsenal fans worried, but although they weren’t flawless in their opening game performance, the Gunners were deserved 2-0 winners over Crystal Palace.
What will have particularly pleased Mikel Arteta is the fact that the most impressive performances came from new signings. Oleksandr Zinchenko contributed an assist, while Gabriel Jesus led the line with energy and William Saliba earned the Man of the Match award for his efforts.
With more signings possible before the close of the transfer window, the squad may be further strengthened and though they are not yet ready to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, there is good reason for fans to think Arsenal will continue to improve.
There is no ‘treading water’ in the EPL, you’re either moving forwards or going backwards and for Leicester City fans, it definitely feels as though their team is slipping in the wrong direction.
Manager Brendan Rodgers is going into his fourth full season at the club, but despite an FA Cup win, regular Cup runs and two top-five finishes, there’s a feeling that the team is stagnating. Last year the Foxes were never in contention for the top six, eventually finishing eighth. The squad was in need refreshing but Leicester have not made a single signing so far and that lack of investment will be exacerbated if they lose one of their big stars, such as James Maddison or Wesley Fofana.
Last week, Rodgers’ team showed some familiar frailties when they took on Brentford. A 2-0 lead was squandered in the last half hour of the game to leave the Foxes with only a point.
Kieran Tierney had recovered from his knee injury sufficiently to come on as substitute against Crystal Palace and could be in line for a starting place here. Under-21 stars Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira and Takehiro Tomiyasu will also be available, though are likely to be on the bench.
In other team news, Ben White’s strong performance marking Wilfried Zaha at right-back last time was another positive from their opening game and Arteta may opt to keep him in that role, now that Saliba has staked a claim to be one of the first-choice center-halves alongside Gabriel.
Rodgers will be relieved that there were no fresh injury issues over the weekend, but the loss of Ricardo Pereira who will now be out of action for up to six months as he recovers from an Achilles operation, is extremely concerning for Leicester, who will also be without Harvey Barnes and Ryan Bertrand.
The in-demand trio of Fofana, Maddison and Youri Tielemans should all be involved again and striker Jamie Vardy will be looking forward to a fixture in which he has scored 11 goals.
Technically Leicester are on a five-game unbeaten run, but then Arsenal can also point to the fact that they won their last three home games last season. The 2021/22 campaign also saw Leicester win only four games on the road all season, and they lost both fixtures against the Gunners last season. Leicester have also recorded 35 defeats against Arsenal – the most they have experienced against any EPL team.
Leicester’s vulnerability to set-pieces may not be tested as fully at the Emirates as it will be against other opponents, but it remains an area of concern, one of many for Rodgers at this point.
This fixture does present the visitors with the chance to play on the break but Leicester are not as fast or dynamic on the counter as they used to be, and the early signs are that Arsenal are far less fragile at the back than they have been over the last few seasons. Leicester’s inability to keep clean sheets on the road makes them vulnerable here and a home win looks the best betting pick.