Leicester City vs Arsenal: Pre-Match Analysis
Timothy Castagne and Kieran Tierney during Leicester City's 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium | Photo: Getty/ Stuart MacFarlane

Leicester City face Arsenal in a crunch fixture this weekend with the Foxes looking to bounce back from a disappointing Europa League defeat against Slavia Prague

Both sides played on Thursday evening meaning changes to the 11 will be expected. Arsenal beat Benfica to progress through to the last 16 of the Europa League with two goals from star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 

Harvey Barnes Key

Brendan Rodgers faced a lot of criticism from the media and also Leicester fans for naming a weakened team in the defeat to Slavia Prague as he left out key names such as Harvey Barnes

Barnes has been in superb form of late and has been more threatening in front of goal than Foxes talisman,  Jamie Vardy,  in recent weeks. 'He looks as if he's going to score in every game' said Rodgers after the 2-1 victory over midlands rivals Aston Villa

His pace and power has been demonstrated this season. Many would argue his ball carrying ability is the best in the league bar potentially Jack Grealish. Barnes produces his best work when he commits defenders, often down the left, creating space for Vardy and Maddison to flourish. 

Barnes, if up against Hector Bellerin, will most definitely find joy running at him. Bellerin has certainly been suspect at times this season defensively, so that will be an area Rodgers will look to exploit. It will be a battle to keep an eye on.  

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Aubameyang on song

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been back amongst the goals of late, scoring a hat-trick vs Leeds United and most recently the brace against Benfica. His key strengths are pace and finishing and these two attributes will be a test for any opposition but its about getting the service to him. 

Confidence has been an issue for Aubameyang this season but now more than ever, he looks back to his best. Expect a battle between him and Ricardo Pereira this Sunday. Aubameyang likes to pull onto the left channel when played centrally and his pace and trickery will be a test for Ricardo.

Bukayo Saka has formed a brilliant understanding with his captain, as demonstrated against Benfica on Thursday night. The duo have combined multiple times this season with Saka's impressive ability to pick out the striker from crosses. 

The young 19 year-old Saka, will be a threat to the Foxes as he was in the fixture at the Emirates Stadium in the last campaign as Ben Chilwell struggled to deal with his pace and direct running so whoever starts at left back for Leicester will have a game on their hands. 

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The Verdict

Both sides will be making changes from their European clashes - Leicester will be the fresher after fielding a weakened team. This decision by Rodgers will have to be backed up with a win against the Gunners.

Leicester have shown this season that they can bounce back from a bad result. That shows the maturity this side has developed since the hangover from the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa last season. 

If Arsenal can keep Vardy quiet then they stand a good chance, however. His record vs Arsenal will be a worry for Mikel Arteta's men. Vardy is always a threat in transition so this will be an area of joy for Leicester.

Saka's direct running will mean Luke Thomas or Castagne will need to be on their A-game. It will be hard to keep him quiet. Defensively both teams have areas to exploit with key figures out for Leicester. 

Prediction: 2-1

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