Unai Emery proclaimed that he would “prefer to win 5-4 than 1-0,” when he took over from Arsene Wenger 18 months ago,
This rather bold statement has come back to bite him, with his Arsenal side bottling a 5-4 lead against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, and 1-0 leads against Wolves and Vitória de Guimarães. Were Ivan Gazidis still at the helm, I would be less confident of an imminent sacking at the Emirates, but the new management team, led by Raul Sanhelli and Vinai Venkatesham, are more ruthless.
It seems to be a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ the Spaniard will be relieved of his duties, and you can still back Emery to be the next EPL Manager to leave their post at 4/1.
Who better than high-flying Leicester to put the final nail in Emery’s coffin and open the door for the ‘Special One’ at Arsenal? Brendan Rodgers’ side fully deserve to be third in the table, winning seven of their last nine league games and notching up four wins in their last four at home.
Arsenal have failed to win any of their last four league games on the road, and have lost by two or more goals on their previous two visits to the King Power. Leicester will win this game, but another thing that’s guaranteed is goals. There’s been over 2.5 goals in their previous four meetings with each other, and over 2.5 goals in Leicester’s last four home games.
Selection: Leicester to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ 7/4.
Almost a third of the goals Arsenal have conceded in the league this season have come from the penalty spot. The pace of Vardy and Perez, combined with Arsenal’s sh*tshow defending, leads me to believe that they will give away another here. I’d be confident in a penalty to be scored @ 11/5 because Vardy smashes them home from 12 yards, and there’s no debating that.
If Arsenal happen to be awarded a penalty, you’d imagine Aubameyang would also slot it home, provided he doesn’t hand the ball to Granit Xhaka to ‘boost his confidence’.
In the first half of the 18/19 season when Arsenal went 22 games unbeaten, a common theme was conceding first then getting back into the game. Most notably, the Gunners came from behind to win against Spurs and Leicester, and salvage draws against Liverpool and Wolves.
Fast forward 12 months and the trend has reversed. Arsenal’s miserable result against Vitoria on Wednesday evening was their fourth consecutive match where they were in the lead and failed to win. Admittedly, they drew those four games, but if Arsenal nick a lead against Leicester, their opponents have that level of quality to complete a comeback with ease.
Selection: Leicester to come From behind and win @ 15/2.
The Foxes are playing some great football at the moment, with James Maddison and Harvey Barnes pulling the creative strings, and Jamie Vardy having a party that’s reminiscent of the 15/16 season. I expect this trend to continue but I also expect them to physically bully the Gunners’ fragile backline.
I think there is real value in Caglar Soyuncu to score anytime @ 17/1. He has been lauded by fans and pundits for his defensive performances this season, but he also broke his goal-scoring duck last weekend with a powerful header against Palace. With Arsenal conceding 6.27 corners per game this season, almost double Leicester’s tally, I reckon the gargantuan Turk could nab another here.
Elsewhere in the goalscorer markets, Lucas Torreira to score anytime @ 12/1 is a very decent bet.
Like Mesut Ozil, he’s been in Emery’s bad books of late, but scored on the duo’s return to the squad against Liverpool in the Cup. Their performances warranted two starting berths against Wolves, but the Uruguayan was inexplicably instructed to play further forward than Ozil, a creative genius who averages 3.4 key passes a game (De Bruyne = 3.3).
However, it’s not Torreira’s fault that Emery’s a fool, and he showed great composure in front of goal last season with a classy finish against Spurs and an acrobatic winner against Huddersfield. 11 of his 14 shots this season have come from inside the box, and he looks a good anytime punt.
Next EPL Manager to Leave their Post – Unai Emery @ 4/1
Leicester to Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ 7/4
A Penalty to be Scored @ 11/5
Leicester to Come From Behind and Win @ 15/2
Lucas Torreira Anytime @ 12/1
Caglar Soyuncu Anytime @ 17/1
*Prices correct at time of publishing