Arsene Wenger is eyeing up another fox hunt on Saturday night
Leicester v Arsenal, Saturday 5.30pm, Sky Sports 1
There is a decent chance that some people reading this blog do not remember a single moment of 1994 – it might be because they were barely out of nappies, or possibly because they were high on life and the early nineties were a blur of smokey nightclubs, cheap booze and acid house.
If you are one of those people who don’t remember anything before 1994, than you won’t have a single memory of Leicester City beating Arsenal. Despite winning the title last year The Foxes haven’t tasted success against the Gunners for more than two decades – in their extraordinary campaign last year they only lost three games all season, and two of them were against Arsene Wenger’s side.
Can they upset the trends on Saturday night? For a little inspiration, simply cast your mind back to a time when UB40 and Pato Banton topped the charts, The Lion King was smashing the UK Box Office, and the DVD hadn’t been invented…
The Gunners did the double over Leicester last season – thumping them 5-2 at the King Power Stadium in September, when Alexis Sanchez bagged a hat-trick, and then giving the Foxes a title-chasing gut-punch on Valentines Day courtesy of a last minute Danny Welbeck winner. not that it ended up meaning anything anyway…
In their 21 head-to-head games since the end of 1994, Leicester have drawn eight and lost 13. Their best chance of breaking that horrendous streak came in September 1998 when Emile Heskey’s opener for the Foxes was cancelled out in stoppage time by Arsenal midfielder Stephen Hughes. The 13 defeats unfortunately include a 5-0 hammering in 1999 which featured a 20 minute hat-trick from Nicolas Anelka, and a 6-1 thumping a year later in which Thierry Henry bagged himself the match ball.
David Lowe got the winner for Leicester in November 1994, and it’s to finish 2-1 to the Foxes 22 years later – however this punt can poop the potential party.
Neither Leicester nor Arsenal got off to the desired start last week, with the Foxes losing 2-1 away to relegation favourites Hull and Arsenal losing a seven-goal thriller to Liverpool. At the back they both looked as unstable as the race for the White House, and a score draw at is a very tempting punt. It might not end Arsenal’s hoodoo over the Foxes, but a point would get both side’s campaigns off the mark.
The defensive frailties of both sides is highlighted by the odds of both teams finding the onion bag at and over 2.5 goals is an punt. Five of the last 12 meetings between these two have finished level, and if you fancy a bit of jam on your scone, the correct score might catch your eye at 11/1.
Claudio Ranieri’s men might be able to take a point off Arsenal, but the winless run looks set to continue…