Arsenal face a huge test of their top four credentials as they welcome Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium in Sunday Night Football.
With both teams locked on nine points and with a better goal difference than Wolves who play on Sunday teatime, victory will ensure that the winner of this match goes fourth.
Willian could return after missing Arsenal’s away midweek win at Rapid Wien in Europa League with a calf injury.
Dani Ceballos also is in contention to return after a knock to his ankle kept the Spaniard out in midweek as Rob Holding (hamstring), Pablo Mari (ankle), Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli (both knee) remain absent.
Leicester could have Jamie Vardy available after a calf injury kept last season’s Golden Boot winner out of their last two matches in all competitions against Aston Villa and Zorya Luhansk respectively.
Ricardo Pereira (knee), Daniel Amartey (hamstring), Caglar Soyuncu (leg) and Wilfred Ndidi (adductor) remain absent indefinitely.
- Arsenal have won just two of their last five meetings against Leicester in all competitions (W2, D1, L2).
- Leicester are winless in their last 27 trips to Arsenal in all competitions since winning at Highbury in September 1973 (D7, L20).
- Despite winning 16 of 28 Premier League meetings against Leicester, Arsenal are yet to be awarded a penalty in this fixture against the Foxes.
- Dennis Praet has been substituted in all four of his league appearances this season for Leicester.
- No Arsenal player has produced more crosses in their five league matches this season than Willian who has created 18 crosses in five appearances.
After Thursday’s Europa exploits, I can see serious changes with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ceballos and Granit Xhaka amongst those returning for Arsenal, whilst Leicester should have Vardy, Demarai Gray and Marc Albrighton amongst their starters here.
Throw in the fact that both teams lost their league outings last weekend by single goal margins then this should be a cracker, especially because Arsenal seemed to struggle performance wise during this stage of the season last year and particularly defensively.
Leicester meanwhile seem to have lost their finishing touch in their last two domestic games but produced a dominant effort against Zorya Luhansk, so if they can convert that performance to this game then they do have a decent shot despite their away hoodoo at Arsenal.
Either way, this is a tough game for both teams who will again have to rotate their squads ahead of Thursday’s second round of Europa matches, so fitness will play a part but I am going for a score draw.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City
Result: Arsenal 0-1 Leicester City