MX23RW : Tuesday, July 17 19:43:39
May 9, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​King Power Stadium
Attendance: 32,095
LeicesterLeicester City
3-1
Arsenal
Iheanacho (14'), Vardy (76' pen.), Mahrez (90')
Simpson (78'), Mahrez (85')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Aubameyang (53')
Holding (75'), Xhaka (77')
Mavropanos (15')

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

Sports Mole previews the Premier League action as Leicester City welcome the visit of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in the penultimate game of the season.

Leicester City take on Arsenal at the King Power Stadium aiming to rediscover some Premier League form at the end of the season after a troubling run of late.

As for the visitors, the Gunners will be hoping to build from last weekend's humbling of Burnley in order to send departing coach Arsene Wenger off with a smile.


Leicester City

Claude Puel in charge of Leicester City on December 9, 2017© SilverHub

Claude Puel goes into the penultimate game of the Foxes' season knowing that the club's poor run of form this year might see him installed as one of the favourites for a summer sacking.

Leicester have now picked up just a single point from their last five top-flight matches and have also failed to score in three league games on the bounce. A terrible patch of form has seen the Foxes lose four out of their last five.

Those statistics are worrying enough, but the shambolic defeat to Crystal Palace recently, combined with last weekend's loss to West Ham United, has raised serious questions about the players' application under the Frenchman.

It remains unclear as to how exactly the Leicester board are viewing Puel's side of late, but it will not fill them with confidence given how some players have already appeared to be on their holidays in recent weeks.

One man to speak out following Leicester's poor run is full-back Christian Fuchs, who recently announced that he will be heading back to America once his current Foxes deal expires in 2019. The Austrian has been out with an injury but made a return against the Hammers. The club's fans will be hoping that his seniority helps to push City to find some late form in the dying embers of the campaign.

The Foxes come up against Arsenal with a woeful record in the Premier League against Wenger's charges. Leicester have not beaten the Gunners in 22 Premier League matches since winning their first game against them in the league in November 1994.

This term has been a mixed bag for Puel, especially when considering that a strong 2017 has left the Foxes in a safe position despite their current lamentable run. Leicester could still finish eighth above Everton should they finish their final two games strongly and other results are favourable.

Jamie Vardy could be central to those plans, having scored five goals in his last five Premier League matches against Arsenal.

Recent form: WLLDLL


Arsenal

Arsene Wenger bids farewell to fans during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Burnley on May 6, 2018© Offside

Wenger celebrated his final game in charge at the Emirates on Sunday as his side thrashed Burnley 5-0 to give the Frenchman a perfect home sendoff in London.

The Gunners head to the King Power knowing that their away form will need to improve quickly if Wenger wants to go out on a winning streak. As things stand, Arsenal are the only team who have not picked up an away point in English league football this year.

The club's problematic form on the road has seen Wenger's men lose all six of their top-flight away games in 2018. The last time that the Gunners lost seven straight away trips was in 1966.

The contrast between home and away form is rather stark when it comes to the statistics. Wenger's men have averaged 2.84 Premier League goals when competing at the Emirates, which is at the polar opposite end of the scale compared to their 1.1 goals in away games.

Arsenal showed some sparkling efficiency against Sean Dyche's side, but many onlookers might ask why that sort of performance came in a fairly dead-rubber ceremony for Wenger, as opposed to during crucial times in the challenging depths of a Premier League campaign.

What has looked promising for whoever takes Wenger's place, however, is just how efficiently Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appears to have settled in since his January move. The former Borussia Dortmund frontman has bagged eight goals and provided four assists across his 11 league appearances since moving to the Emirates.

Should the next manager be able to tackle the club's defensive issues, Arsenal's fortunes going forward seem to be safe in the hands of Aubameyang, who has also benefited from the form of Alexandre Lacazette. The French frontman has eight goals in his last nine matches.

Arsenal take on Leicester at a fortunate juncture when the club's players will be wanting to send their boss away happy, while they could also benefit from a beleaguered Foxes side who look a long way off winning another top-flight game this term.

Recent form: WWLWLW
Recent form (all competitions): LWDLLW


Team News

Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Everton on February 3, 2018© Offside

To compound Puel's misfortune, the Foxes could be missing as many as 10 players on Wednesday evening. The likes of Shinji Okazaki, Danny Simpson and Kasper Schmeichel are amongst those with slight knocks.

Marc Albrighton is back from suspension, though, and should come straight back in on the left flank. Impressive youngster Hamza Choudhury is expected to continue in midfield alongside Adrien Silva.

For the Gunners, Mesut Ozil is likely to miss out for the remainder of the campaign with a back problem, while Laurent Koscielny is out for at least sixth months after being operated on for a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan should continue his comeback from injury by earning a starting spot in attack, playing as part of a forward three alongside Lacazette and Aubameyang.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Hamer; Dragovic, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs; Mahrez, Silva, Choudhury, Albrighton; Iheanacho, Vardy

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Ramsey; Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Aubameyang


Head To Head

Leicester have not managed a single win against Arsenal in 22 games, drawning seven and lost 15 against the Gunners.

Vardy scored twice but still found himself on the end of a 4-3 defeat at the Emirates when the clubs met in the opening stages of the 2017-18 campaign.

The last six meetings between the sides have all come in the Premier League, where Arsenal have won five and drawn once.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal

Of all the sides Puel will not want to face now, Arsenal might just be one of them considering Wenger's looming departure. That said, the Gunners also have an awful away record this year.

Arsenal travel to the King Power knowing that this is one of their better chances of late to finally register a win on the road, as they come up against a team that has picked up just one point from their last five.

Both Lacazette and Aubameyang are in standout form and will be hoping to help add to Wenger's sendoff by inspiring the Gunners to a first away win of 2018.


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Who will win Wednesday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Arsenal?

Leicester City
Draw
Arsenal
Leicester City
14.7%
Draw
17.6%
Arsenal
67.6%
Claude Puel in charge of Leicester City on December 9, 2017
Read Next:
Puel: 'Foxes still waiting on Albrighton'
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