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The combatants come into Sunday’s midday kick-off off the back of contrasting fortunes in their respective Europa League campaigns. Leicester were surprising sunk 2-0 by a plucky Slavia Prague at the King Power Stadium, while Arsenal used ‘home’ comforts to their advantage to see off Benfica 3-2 (4-3 on aggregate) in an amazing come-from-behind victory at the Karaiskaki Stadium in Greece.
However, it should be a case of back to reality on Sunday as these sides meet at the home of the Foxes.
Leicester’s Premier League form has been much brighter than their European exploits and they sit comfortably third in the table heading into this game – they also could leapfrog Manchester United into second with a victory.
Meanwhile, Arsenal lay disappointing in the bottom half of the table and travel to a hunting ground that has proved to be tough away day for them recently. The Gunners have lost their last three visits to King Power in the Premier League and we don’t see changing on Sunday against a home side who will be motivated to put Thursday’s disappointment behind them.
Sunday 12:00 – Leicester v Arsenal
BT Sport 1
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We’ve already mentioned Arsenal’s shoddy recent Premier League record at the King Power above, but it’s only fair to say that Mikel Arteta’s men did win there earlier in the season. They knocked The Foxes out of the League Cup with a 2-0 victory in late September. That is the only bright spark on their recent meetings with Leicester though, as Sunday’s hosts have won three of the last five contests – including October’s Premier League game between the two at the Emirates as Jamie Vardy pounced to give the Brendan Rodgers-led outfit a late 1-0 win.
That game yet again highlighted how Arsenal seem to always find the Leicester defence a tough nut to crack, and in the previous five games we’ve noted The Gunners have failed to register on the scoreboard in three of them. That’s a trend we believe will continue on Sunday.
Oh boy, does Vardy love a crack at Arsenal! The former England frontman has scored an amazing 11 goals in 12 matches against The Gunners, a stat that should have David Luiz and Co quaking in their luminous boots come Sunday.
Vardy just seems to revel in matches against Arsenal, and it’s easy to see why given the London club’s struggles at the back in the last few seasons. There is no doubting that the one-time Fleetwood Town frontman is now one of the premier strikers in European football and given how much of Brendan Rodgers’ game plan goes through him, we expect him to be peppering Bernd Leno’s goals with shots in this one.
You may not know much about Luke Thomas, and that’s understandable given that the young left-back has only made Premier League appearances since making his debut last season. The 19-year-old should fill in again for the injured James Justin on Sunday, but he faces an emerging powerhouse in the form of Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
Saka and Thomas may be the same age, but there is a huge disparity in experience between the pair as the Arsenal starlet is already into his third season with the first team. Saka has been in electric form of late, terrorising Leeds at the Emirates and providing a gorgeous assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s winner on Thursday night against Benfica. Thomas certainly looks to have a tough Sunday morning on his hands, and we reckon his discipline will slip at least once in the game.
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