Arsenal vs Leicester preview: Foxes look to do double over Gunners
Goalscorers Jamie Vardy and James Maddison celebrate during Leicester City's 2-0 win over Arsenal at the King Power Stadium | Photo: Getty/ Michael Regan

After winning their first game since the restart against Crystal Palace at the weekend, Leicester will be hoping to pick up three more points against Arsenal as they look stave off pressure in the race for a top four finish.

The fight for a Champions League place has intensified over recent weeks, with Manchester United and Chelsea both piling the pressure onto the Foxes. Arsenal have improved under Mikel Arteta and after winning their last four they making a late push for a top six finish.

Key Battle

David Luiz has been a regular name in the headlines throughout the past month. The Brazilian centre-back came under scrutiny after a horrifying 30-minute substitute appearance against Manchester City which included a mistake that lead to a goal, and a red card after conceding a penalty. However, Arteta handed him a new one-year contract a week later, indicating his trust in the player.

Luiz will face a tough challenge on Tuesday evening as he comes up against the newest member of the Premier League’s 100 Club, Jamie Vardy. The striker hadn’t scored since the restart and seemed to be struggling to get back up to speed. But Vardy finally scored his 100th and 101st goal against Crystal Palace and he is expected to be back at his usual best against Arsenal, with Luiz hoping to make sure he can prevent that.

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Previous Meeting

Back in November, Arsenal travelled to the King Power Stadium to play Leicester who remained in touching distance of league leaders Liverpool.

The Foxes dominated the early stages and unloaded shots at Bernd Leno in the Gunners net. But they failed to break the deadlock before the break, leaving a tense atmosphere among home fans who were eager to maintain a title challenge.

After further pressure, Vardy finally opened the scoring. A wonderful team move lead to the league’s top scorer tapping home.

Leicester then sealed a 2-0 win after James Maddison fired a powerful strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Arsenal travelled back to London disappointed after only managing one shot on target throughout the game.

Team News

Arsenal will still be without their first choice goalkeeper, Leno, after he sustained a ligament strain against Brighton last month. Gabriel Martinelli has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after picking up an injury in training, leaving the Gunners with one less threat from wide areas.

The Foxes are expected to be without Maddison and Ben Chilwell with Rodgers describing them as ‘big doubts’ for the match. Maddison missed the game against Crystal Palace with a hip injury and Chilwell is said to be suffering with pain throughout his foot. This news means that Leicester may look to start in a 3-4-1-2 formation once again to help improve their attacking threat with their most creative midfielder side-lined.

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Predicted Line-Ups

Arsenal: Martinez, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Saka, Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Bennett, Evans, Soyuncu, Justin, Ndidi, Tielemans, Fuchs, Perez, Iheanacho, Vardy.

Managers Thoughts

When speaking in his press conference ahead of the game, Arteta assessed his sides chances of qualifying for a European competition this season. He said: “I think we have to win every game and then wait and pray. It's not about winning one game. I think we need to go game-by-game.

“A few weeks ago, we were really far from even thinking about Europe and now we are a little bit closer at the moment. So let's go game-by-game and see where it takes us.”

Rodgers has praised his team’s season so far and wants them to continue that form in their final few games to make sure they remain in the top four. He said: “What the players have done up to this point is remarkable. We’re second in defensive prospective, and third in terms of attacking.

“These are all big games, and we’ll do our best to finish them off. But we won’t get too emotional on them. But every game is huge to us now.”

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