An air of uncertainty will be looming large at The Emirates as Arsenal play host to the bottom of the table side Leicester City, with the future of Leicester City’s manager Nigel Pearson hanging in the balance. With another defeat against Crystal Palace, an altercation with Eagles midfielder McArthur and reports in Media on Sunday that he has been sacked, it will be interesting to see how Pearson takes his low on morale team to Emirates to face an Arsenal side which is still recovering from King Harry’s double strike which knocked the wind out of the Gunners in the North London Derby this past weekend.
Both the teams head into Match day 25 on the back of a defeat. While Arsenal lost to their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs, Leicester City lost to Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace. Arsenal has had quite a productive last six games as they are on the fourth position on the points table on current form while they dropped points against Southampton and Spurs. Leicester City on the other hand have lost three on the trot and find themselves on the bottom of the table and look likely the first team to get relegated this season.
There is no fresh injury concern for either of the team; the big news for Arsenal fans is the return of their talisman Alexis Sanchez after being sidelined due to injury. However Arsenal is still missing Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin), England international Jack Wilshere due to ankle surgery, while Mikel Arterta (ankle), Abou Diaby (calf) and Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) continue their rehabilitation.
Arsenal: Martinez, Ospina, Szczesny, Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Diaby, Flamini, Gnabry, Ozil, Ramsey, Rosicky, Akpom, Giroud, Sanchez Walcott, Welbeck.
Leicester City: Hamer, Schwarzer, De Laet, Huth, Konchesky, Moore, Morgan, Simpson, Upson, Wasilewski, Albrighton, Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Hammond, James, King, Knockaert, Mahrez, Schlupp, Kramaric, Lawrence, Nugent, Ulloa, Vardy.
According to Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger; “If you respond well, it’s very good,” he said. “We play at home against Leicester, a team who are fighting not to go down, so always we have to recover from that disappointment and be ready to respond very quickly.” The Gunners manager also feels that it is Arsenal’s home form which will be crucial, adding that he feels that like all the past seasons he expects this Champions League race to go down to the wire.
Under pressure Leicester City Boss Nigel Pearson is trying to find out positives from the current situation and is yet to throw in the towel, according to Pearson; “For myself as the manager of the side who are bottom of the Premier League, what I can’t do is hide from the facts. The facts are that we are where we are and, so far, we have not been beaten in a game where we’ve been absolutely roller-costarred. We looked like we could have been in the first half against Man United, but we rallied in the second half. We’ve been competitive. We’re not going get downbeat by how people possibly want to write us off after a result like [Saturday].”
Alexis Sanchez Vs Robert Huth: Robert Huth has joined Leicester City on Loan from Stoke City and can be straightaway drafted in the team to stop Alexis Sanchez and company. The 6’3” defender who has previously played for Chelsea might be called in action to impose his towering presence to minimize further damage to a beleaguered Leicester side.
Leonardo Ulloa Vs Mertesacker: Argentine Leonard Ulloa has scored in both of his appearances against Arsenal, and it will be duty of defensive unit led by Per Mertesacker to stop him from scoring thrice in a row against the Gunners.
For Leicester City the road of survival in Premier League is getting tougher and with back to back tough games the writing is on the wall for Nigel Pearson and only a miracle can save his job even after continued reassurances from the club, on the other hand Arsenal are expected to bounce back and run comfortable winners in this match.
Quotes and Team News Source: Premierleague.com
Image Source: Skysports.com, Arsenal official Website, Wikipedia