The English Premier League football enthusiasts are finally being rewarded for their immense patient, because the first match-up between two domestic sides will be played tonight. Historically speaking, something we’ve never seen before in 129-years of English football. And that’s that the highest tier will be kicked-off by a Friday match. This historical match will 19.45AM UK Time and will be between Arsenal and Leicester City. Will the boys from Wenger immediately cruise to an victory or will The Foxes sneakily take some points at the Emirates?
While Arsenal has improved their squad tremendously with the French striker Alexandre Lacazette, it still won’t make a difference in this game. Arguably, the players who’ll carry the weight on their shoulders are him, Sanchez and Özil. The last two aren’t expected to make any minutes in this confrontation. Meaning Arsenal won’t change their line-up in which they won the Super Cup against Chelsea. The 3-4-2-1, with the focus on swiftly and smoothly reaching striker Lacazette is the approach which Wenger will utilize in the majority of this season, but it will be more difficult to get the most out his formation with Wellbeck and Iwobi (instead of Sanchez & Özil).
Leicester had an fantastic season in 2015-16 where they ended up winning the title, which is fantastic but also has an downside for the manager. It was a miracle that Ranieri managed to top the table, because they are a team which should avoid relegation. Nothing more, nothing less. But deep down, the owners wanted and expected more than that because of his the title in 2016. Ranieri couldn’t live up to that impossible challenge and was eventually laid-off and replaced by Craig Shakespeare. The latter performed like expected from a Leicester manager, but Ranieri wasn’t a normal manager in their eyes. He was a miracle worker who failed.
This season will make clear that Leicester hasn’t grown that much and a spot somewhere between 11 and 15 is probably where they end up. They do have acquired some great talent in Iheanacho and his possible partnership with his fellow Nigerian Musa could be a sight to see. Unfortunely, it’s expected that Vardy will start as a lone striker with the Japanese Okazaki right behind him. But I do think we will see Iheanacho make his debut tonight.
Despite the absence of many players, including Özil and Sanchez. I expect, just like the bookmakers, that Arsenal remain top favourites for the top favourite. The fluidity up front will be troubling for the visitors defence and therefore my prediction is -1 Arsenal, which has an odd around 1.85.