Arsenal V Leicester City
Sunday 14th February. 12PM. Sky Sports 1
It’s Valentine’s Day and, incredibly, we could be in for the greatest football love story of all as Leicester City look to extend their gap at the Premier League summit to a massive eight points.
That lead would be cut later on in the afternoon as Tottenham face Manchester City at 4PM, but a victory would surely cement Claudio Ranieri’s men as the title favourites. However, the Gunners know that they’ll be right back in the race with a win at the Emirates as it would cut that lead to two.
There’s everything to play for in this one. Expect drama of the very highest calibre.
Can Gunners Fire Themselves Into Title Race?
Arsene Wenger knows that his men missed a golden opportunity around the turn of the year as his side dropped nine point from 12 from mid-January to early February. Nonetheless, the Gunners will still feel that they’re in a great position to clinch their first Premier League crown since 2004, and will be looking to fire a huge signal of intent with three points against the league leaders.
The Gunners still have a number of notable absences in the form of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, but it’s Mesut Ozil who has been the catalyst of creativity this season and the German will be eager to make a big impression in this Sunday showdown.
Arsenal were fantastic as they claimed a 5-2 win at the King Power back in September. If the hosts can cut the Foxes apart in a similar manner here, then the hosts should fire themselves right back into the title race.
This is a real test of Arsenal’s character, but it could be the key to ending their barren 12 years. Expect a big performance from the hosts.
Foxes Dreaming Of Ultimate Glory
Last week’s 3-1 win at Manchester City was the latest chapter in what has been a mind-blowing journey thus far. However, the new Premier League favourites still have a lot of work to do if they want to stun the football world. But who would dare say they can’t do it?
After all, the Foxes boast the division’s best away record and know that a draw would keep them well on track to complete their dream run to the title. Meanwhile, the pace of Jamie Vardy should be a real threat, especially if Per Mertesacker plays for Arsenal.
Vardy is far from being Leicester’s only star, though. The likes of Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs have helped turn a previously leaky defence into a far more solid whilst Riyad Mahrez’s creativity can cause problems for any defence.
The mindset will have changed now that Leicester are considered, but the Foxes have shown their fighting spirit throughout the campaign. If they can pull off another great result here, they might finally start to believe the hype too.
Whatever happens, it should be an absolute classic.
Arsenal V Leicester Betting
With home advantage on their side, Arsenal have been established as the favourites at 7/10 with Bet365. Meanwhile, the league leaders can be backed at 18/5 whilst the draw is pried 14/5.
Quite frankly, this fixture could not be bigger. More importantly, the Foxes will actually be half expected to gain a positive result after their heroic showing at the Etihad.
Sadly that pressure might be too much for the visitors, particularly against the one side that has brushed them aside this season. Moreover, Wenger’s men know exactly what’s required of them and will look to bag an early goal to really grab the initiative en route to a crucial win. We’re backing the Gunners HT/FT.
HT/FT: Arsenal/Arsenal @ 7/4 with Bet365
If Arsenal are going to win this crucial battle, they will need a big performance from their star performers. Ozil has to be the leading candidate.
The German is already a favourite for this season’s PFA Player of the Year award, a Man of the Match performance would underline his importance even further. Wenger made the club record signing in order to win titles, we’re backing the 27-year-old to fire them right back into the race here.
Man of the Match: Mesut Ozil @ 8/1 with Paddy Power