Arsenal v Leicester City

Scouting Report - Leicester City

Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Arsène Wenger's side host Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.


Arsenal were absolutely rampant against a surprisingly open Aston Villa in the previous match at the Emirates, but Leicester City will play in a very different style: they'll sit deep and depend upon sporadic counter-attacking down the flanks for any goalscoring opportunities.

Seventy-six per cent of Leicester's passes are played along the wings, the highest percentage in the Premier League, and that sums up their somewhat old-fashioned approach.

"They'll sit deep and depend upon sporadic counter-attacking down the flanks for any goalscoring opportunities"

Michael Cox

Manager Nigel Pearson has occasionally switched to a 4-5-1 system for difficult away games, like in the 2-2 draw at Liverpool on New Year's Day, but his preferred shape is a simple 4-4-2 formation, and the recent £9m signing of Andrej Kramaric means Pearson has an extra option up front.

The Croatian seems likely to start alongside Leonardo Ulloa, who made an excellent start to his Premier League career and headed the equaliser in the reverse meeting fixture - a classic example of Leicester's approach - but has been less prolific in recent months.

While they're still working out their partnership, Ulloa should play as a target man with Kramaric working just off him - although both like getting on the end of crosses.

An entirely different option would be Jamie Vardy, the hard-working striker who likes roaming the channels. Pearson deployed him on the right flank in the recent defeat at Old Trafford, and might do something similar on Tuesday - he'll get up and down the touchline repeatedly.

On the left, Jeffrey Schlupp has impressed this season with his energy and his end product - he's hit four Premier League goals, and assisted Ulloa's aforementioned header against Arsenal earlier in the season with a fine cross. He's a dangerous counter-attacker, and could be Leicester's most obvious out-ball when possession is won in deep positions.

Jeffrey Schlupp

Jeffrey Schlupp


The central midfielders will concentrate on shielding the defence and are unlikely to advance into attack particularly frequently. Danny Drinkwater and Andy King have been the favoured duo in recent weeks - the former covers ground well, while King has guile in possession - but they could struggle when overloaded by Arsenal's various playmakers.

The full backs are capable of pushing forward and supporting the wingers: Paul Konchesky has a good left foot and can cross dangerously, while right-sided options Ritchie De Laet and Danny Simpson are more dynamic and good at attacking transitions.

Ritchie De Laet

Ritchie De Laet


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