Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.
Arsène Wenger's side travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.
Arsenal travel to the King Power Stadium to take on a Leicester City side which boasts the only unbeaten record in the top flight. Claudio Ranieri’s team have recorded three victories and three draws so far, and have proved particularly adept at launching unexpected second-half fightbacks.
The ‘Tinkerman’ has generally used a 4-4-2 system this season, with Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki starting up front together in five of Leicester’s six matches. The key feature of this forward combination is work rate and mobility, with both players excellent at running the channels, fighting lost causes and turning hopeful punts into dangerous through balls. Vardy is in particularly good form, with three goals in his last three matches. Leonardo Ulloa, who headed the equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal last season, is the Plan B.But Leicester’s main threat is unquestionably Riyad Mahrez, the deserved recipient of the Player of the Month award for August. Having thrived in a No 10 role last season, the Algerian has reverted to his traditional right-wing position under Ranieri and has been tying defenders in knots with his trickery - continually feinting to go outside, then inside, then outside again. He showed his skills at the Emirates last season with six successful dribbles - although his shooting was wayward. He’s improved that area of his game, and now leads the Premier League’s goalscoring table.
Marc Albrighton, a dangerous crosser, should start on the opposite flank. In the centre, Gokhan Inler is a superb signing and is capable of commanding the midfield with his tackling skills and passing range, while Danny Drinkwater often plays good passes out to the flanks, and into the channels.Leicester’s weakness is at the back, though. Their six matches this season have featured more goals than any other Premier League side, partly because they’re yet to keep a clean sheet. Robert Huth lacks pace and captain Wes Morgan simply makes too many errors - Theo Walcott will fancy his chances of getting in behind a centre-back duo both in their 30s.
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