Arsenal vs Leicester City: 3 Crucial Things To Watch For

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: An injured Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on August 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: An injured Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on August 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images) /

Faith, we must all have faith that Arsenal will get back on track. Against Leicester, Wenger has a chance to write the wrong and steer the ship the right way. But will he do it? 

Honestly I think I would have preferred it if Arsenal lost 4-1 last week. I know that I did correctly predict Arsenal was going to lose and honestly, when the lineup came out with Chambers and Holding at the back, giving up 4 goals would be considered a blessing.

Related Story: 6 Substitutions Wenger Must Make For Leicester

Venue: King Power Stadium

Date: Saturday 20 Aug (EST)

Prediction: Leicester City 3-1 Arsenal

Looking at this week’s game, I know some Arsenal fans will say things will be different. I know even more will say Arsenal does this every year and they always rebound. I wish I could be more hopeful but I just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet. It’s not a unity issue, not a tactics issue, its a personnel issue and if Arsenal continues to send out Chambers and Holding as the two starting centre backs, then Arsenal will continue to give up multiple goals.

1) Even Less Depth

So about a month ago, a friend asked me who I thought Arsenal’s first injury would be. To summarize I said the following: Wilshere at practice, then Ramsey first five games back. I was so close to being two for two, so far not much news has surfaced with regards to Iwobi’s injury but we now know that Ramsey will be out for about a month.

So look for another painful game with a defense that is reactive instead of assertive. The chances of Vardy scoring are quite high, and the chances of Chambers giving up a penalty to any of the wings of Leicester City is just as likely.

To summarize, Arsenal will enter this weeks game against last season’s champions with even less depth than before. It does bring up the following question: if Arsenal employ some of the best sports science teams, training staffs and Wenger is adamant about a player getting enough rest and preparation before the season how is it that as per we are currently tied in first place with the most injuries this season. Seven injuries consisting of Ramsey, Iwobi, Paulista, Wilshere, Mertesacker, Welbeck, and Jenkinson. The average duration for all the injuries as of today is roughly three months.

I will never consider myself smarter or more knowledgeable than Wenger and his staff when it comes to football. But one does have to question why Arsenal experience so many injuries on a consistent basis. Where some teams like Manchester City have unfortunate breaks every season, with Arsenal it’s like a guarantee.

2) The Ox starting over Walcott

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When the game began, I had to quickly adjust myself to seeing Ramsey wearing the No. 8 jersey and Sanchez in a No. 7 jersey. Then I had to look twice at the roster because I saw someone wearing No. 14 on the pitch.

While the Ox sat on the bench, Walcott got the start. No words could describe how shocked I was when I learned that. When Walcott missed the penalty and when Ox scored his first goal of the season, all the writers here at went crazy over the decision to start Walcott over Chamberlain.

Unlike Walcott, Chamberlain doesn’t mind playing on the wing, he doesn’t mind corssing the ball instead of cutting in to score. Chamberlain actually runs back and helps out on defense, then breaks out on offense with the whole team. So don’t be surprised to see the Ox starting ahead of Walcott on the right side of the pitch come Saturday.

3) Wenger using the same tactics

There are times where I treat Wenger like a bottle of expensive wine. When the waiter or my friends ask me what I think about it after a sip I tend to say yes regardless of the fact that I’m not a fan of wine. To that, Wenger’s past glories often skew how I view his recent accomplishments.

Arsenal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) /

However, the one area I constantly criticize Wenger with no hesitation is over his lack of flexibility. Over at Madrid, Zidane has played three different formations to begin the season. Over at Man City, Pep has shown that he is willing to move players out of position to find the right balance, and over at United, the self-proclaimed greatest manager ever actually switches up his team’s style of play when ahead in a game. However, Wenger plays one style, plays one way and in recent years insists on only playing that one way.

Don’t get me wrong, the style Arsenal plays is beautiful to watch when executed properly. However, last weeks game showed the way to counter that style of play and everyone in the league knows it. Continuous press to force the back-line to make a mistake when passing the ball up and to force defenders to make plays rather than midfielders.

Furthermore, with Sanchez up-front, the team lacked height which made the pressing style Klopp implemented that much more effected as long passes were often intercepted by a Liverpool player.

Next: Predicted EPL Table

As always, I hope Arsenal wins but with a team that relies on skilled players and a disciplined back line it hard for me to say this game will look any prettier than last.