Football 3 years ago

Preview: Leicester City Vs Arsenal

  • Preview: Leicester City Vs Arsenal

The wounds sustained at Stamford Bridge in a 2-0 defeat disappeared quicker than expected, as Arsenal beat bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspurs 2-1 in the North London Derby, thanks to a brace from Mathieu Flamini. There's not much time to celebrate it, though, as the Gunners now travel to the King Power Stadium where they face Leicester City. 

You don't really want to be facing Leicester City at their current form, more so when you are a side still struggling to find rhythm and struggling to find consistency. Arsenal may be flying high having beaten Spurs away, but Leicester are flying higher, rightly so. 

The Foxes have come a long way since they last met Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium in February 2015 when they were fighting to survive. This time around, they are in a different battle and a top 10 finish is starting to seem one of them. 

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Arsenal can't afford to put a foot wrong at the King Power Stadium, and do need to be at their best. Ranieri's men are lethal on the counter-attack (uh oh!) with Jamie Vardy, Jeffrey Schlupp and Marc Albrighton up their sleeves. Add to that the aerial threat they pose and the way they execute set-pieces, and you have a team whose strengths are the same as Arsenal's weaknesses. 

The only way for Arsenal to counter the threats they pose is by not holding themselves back and playing the kind of free-flowing Football that characterises Arsene Wenger's side. Arsenal are undoubtedly the better, the bigger team of the two and it's them who need to be dictating the terms. 

One can say that the only way to not let your weaknesses hurt you is by being mentally stronger. If Arsenal start the game in a dominating manner and with the intent to run over Leicester, that's exactly what will happen. If that isn't the case and they keep mulling over the weaknesses they have, the only result would be a defeat. 

Tactics do matter, but not as much as the mentality in the North Londoners' case. Why they lose games despite playing well is simply because other sides show more character and toughness which helps soak the pressure. The FA-Cup Champions do need to learn exactly that art as they head into a difficult phase (Arsenal face Olympiacos, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the next two weeks).

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Quotes

"You never forget the big defeats," Arsene Wenger said. "It is a scar somewhere that remains forever. It is nothing to do with Claudio. I like him. He has served football in a very positive way.

"I think he deserves a lot of respect and I don’t see him as a ‘tinkerman’. Look at the Chelsea team when he left: they all survived after. They were on the way up when he left. He did a great job. He bought Frank Lampard… they had Terry, Desailly, Gallas. They already had a very strong team.

"He is a competent guy. Look when he started in football and he is still in it today. If he was not competent it would be surprising for him to survive for such a long time at the top level.

"Everybody rotates now because the intensity of the games is very high. It is difficult to repeat exactly the same after the intensity of the game we had on Wednesday night, for example.

"I never saw him change so much his teams. Somebody finds a name and everyone thinks he is only that. But he is a very respectful guy, and has a wonderful sense of humour."


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