MX23RW : Saturday, October 19 15:30:46| >> :600:30588689:30588689:
Oct 22, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium (London)
Attendance: 59,886
LeicesterLeicester City
Ozil (45'), Aubameyang (63', 66')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bellerin (31' og.)

Preview: Arsenal vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole looks ahead to Monday night's Premier League clash between in-form Arsenal and Leicester City, including team news, predicted XIs and a full match preview.

Arsenal will be looking for a 10th consecutive win in all competitions when they welcome Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium on Monday night.

The Gunners have found their form under new boss Unai Emery to keep up with the pace set by their top-four rivals, but welcome a Leicester side that could climb up to eighth in the table with a victory of their own.


Unai Emery gestures with two fingers during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Vorskla Poltava on September 20, 2018© Reuters

On only five previous occasions in their entire history have Arsenal chalked up 10 successive wins across all competitions, but that is an achievement Emery could claim just 12 matches into his reign on Monday night.

The general consensus was that it would take time for Emery to stamp his own mark on a club which for so long had been ruled by Arsene Wenger, yet it has not taken anywhere near as long as fans may have feared.

There are still lingering questions to be answered; Arsenal's only two matches against direct top-six rivals have resulted in their only two defeats of the campaign, while their defensive form has still be questionable despite the run of wins and conceding just two goals in their last five appearances.

There is a feeling that top-quality teams will still be able to slice through this Arsenal side, but so far they have been able to outscore the opposition and coming into gameweek nine only Manchester City had scored more goals than them in the league this season.

The last time Arsenal won 10 games on the bounce was when a run of 12 ended in October 2007, and with matches against Leicester, Sporting Lisbon, Crystal Palace and Blackpool to come, it is entirely possible that they could surpass that marker during their current run.

Emery's side will certainly be the favourites heading into each of those matches, although they are once again under pressure to pick up maximum points in this one having seen Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all win on Saturday.

Victory would see the Gunners leapfrog their North London rivals Spurs into fourth on goal difference - and a big enough win could even see them overtake Chelsea in third - putting them just two points behind the leading pair.

It is a position Arsenal would have taken at the start of the season - and certainly after losing their opening two games of the campaign - with the Gunners already five points better off than at the same stage of last term.

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have proven that they can not only play together, but also complement each other's game, which has helped Arsenal to score 27 goals during their nine-game winning streak at an average of three goals per match.

Indeed, both strikers helped themselves to braces - albeit Aubameyang's off the bench - during their 5-1 win over Fulham before the international break, a result which continued the club's formidable record in the month of October.

Arsenal have won more Premier League games (59) and points (200) in the month than any other team, and also enjoy their best win rate in October having emerged victorious in 63% of their matches.

Recent Premier League form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWW


Leicester City manager Claude Puel at the game against Burnley on April 14, 2018© Reuters

It has been a mixed start to the campaign for Leicester with four wins and four defeats from their opening eight games, scoring 14 goals and conceding 12 to leave themselves as the epitome of mid-table mediocrity at the moment.

Fans will welcome that tag compared to last season, though, when they sat in the relegation zone with just six points at the same stage of the campaign.

The Foxes have double that tally this time around and could leapfrog both Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers with a victory at the Emirates, which would also leave them just three points off the top five.

Despite the mixed nature of their results, this is still Leicester's best start to a season since their unforgettable title-winning campaign in 2015-16, although both meetings against 'big six' opposition so far this term have ended in defeat.

Claude Puel's side also lost their last outing before the international break when they failed to hold on against Everton with 10 men, going down 2-1 at the King Power Stadium after seeing Wes Morgan sent off just past the hour mark.

Leicester did win their most recent away game, though, and with their next four away outings after this one all coming against teams in the bottom half, it could be their form on the road which keeps them battling in the top half during the buildup to Christmas.

The Foxes have won two of their last three league games on their travels - as many as they had won in their previous 11 - and could record back-to-back away victories in the top flight for the first time since March.

However, their record in London leaves a lot to be desired, with no wins in their last seven visits to the capital stretching back to March 2017.

Recent Premier League form: WLLWWL
Recent form (all competitions): LLWWWL

Team News

Mesut Ozil wipes his nose on his shirt during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

Arsenal are able to welcome Mesut Ozil back into the side after the German missed the win over Fulham due to a back spasm.

There is also good news regarding the fitness of Danny Welbeck, who pulled out of the England squad with a hamstring injury but is understood to have now fully recovered from the problem.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is in contention for the first time since August and there will be late fitness tests for Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Petr Cech, the latter of whom faces a battle to win his place back from Bernd Leno in goal.

Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos are Arsenal's only definite absentees, but Emery could make changes to his side anyway after the likes of Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey were left out of the starting lineup to face Fulham.

Aubameyang's brace off the bench in that match means that he has now been directly involved in 19 goals in his 21 Premier League appearances and averages the best goals-per-minute ratio of any Arsenal player to have scored 10 or more times in the competition.

Leicester have their own striker extraordinaire in Jamie Vardy, who has had a hand in 34 goals from 46 league games against 'big six' opposition since his debut against Arsenal in August 2014.

Six of Vardy's 27 goals in that time have come in six meetings with Arsenal, including a brace on his last visit to the Emirates on the opening day of the 2017-18 season.

The Foxes will be without one stalwart as Morgan begins his suspension, while Demarai Gray (ankle) and Matty James (Achilles) are also sidelined through injury.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Leicester possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Amartey, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Pereira, Iheanacho, Maddison; Vardy

Head To Head

Leicester arrive in North London with a woeful record away to Arsenal, losing 19 and failing to win any of their last 25 visits to the Gunners since a 2-0 triumph in September 1973.

Indeed, Arsenal have won their last 11 home games against Leicester in the top flight, which is the second-longest such run versus a single opponent in their history behind only a 13-match streak over Stoke City.

Leicester have never won a Premier League game at either Highbury or the Emirates, but they did pick up their first league win over the Gunners since 1994 in their most recent outing when they ran out 3-1 winners at the King Power Stadium in May. Not since 1976 have Leicester won back-to-back league games against Arsenal.

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We say: Arsenal 3-1 Leicester

Arsenal's defence has not looked strong enough to suggest that they will keep a clean sheet in this match, but they should still pick up all three points. Emery's side are in fine form and boast a formidable home record against the Foxes, so should run out fairly comfortable winners.

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Who will win Monday night's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Leicester?

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Everton on September 23, 2018
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