Arsenal travel to Leicester for a very important clash of their Premier League season on Saturday. The Gunners lost their tie on the opening weekend against Liverpool at home and will be desperate to open their account by beating the current champions in their backyard. Leicester will also be eager to get their own season back on track after surprisingly losing to Hull City in their season opener, so it promises to be a fascinating tie. Let’s look at the three key battles which are likely to decide the outcome of the game.
Monreal Vs Mahrez
Arsenal’s Mr. dependable Nacho Monreal would have a job on his hands at the King Power to tackle the trickeries and forward advances of Leicester’s magician Riyad Mahrez. Monreal has previously won the battle with aplomb last season when the Algerian winger was left ineffectual by the intelligent gameplay of the Spanish fullback for the only two times in the league when he played against Arsenal. Arsene Wenger would be hoping for more of the same from his trusted left-back which will seriously limit The Foxes ability to influence the game.
Cazorla Vs Mendy
Santi Cazorla is likely to start in the role of an attacking midfielder on Saturday after the injury to Aaron Ramsey. Cazorla is the player Arsenal would be looking forward to for providing the creativity in and around the penalty area which will carve out the chances for the likes of Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Claudio Ranieri would put his new defensive midfield general Nampalys Mendy can fill the gap vacated by N’golo Kante.
Mendy bears some resemblances with his former peer in his gameplay and Leicester fans would be looking forward to the Former Nice ace to suffocate Cazorla and not allow him to dictate terms with his passing and movement. Not allowing Cazorla time and space would make the Arsenal attacks very predictable and thus this is a battle which will decide the outcome of the match depending on which gets the better of the other.
Walcott Vs Luis Hernandez
Leicester’s new signing Luis Hernandez looked very unconvincing against Hull City on his debut. The former Sporting Gijon man would step on to the field keen to improve on his last performance against the attacking threat of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The duo would offer plenty of pace and penetration and the visitors would be keen to exploit any hesitancy from the 27-year old Spanish defender.
Arsenal do have their own defensive problems at the moment so they would be targeting to win the match with their attack (that is what they always do anyways) even more at the King Power. After having scored in the first game and last time in the same fixture, Theo Walcott would be particularly motivated to keep up his scoring record which will help his team beat the current champions and let the visitors collect their first win of the new season.