Both Leicester and Arsenal have made bright starts to the new campaign, each winning their opening two league games, though neither are yet to face real quality with the four vanquished sides being Fulham, West Ham, West Brom and Burnley. Still, you can only beat what is in front of you and both managers will have been pleased by what they’ve seen from their charges so far.
These two have been hard to split in recent times with an identical W3-D2-L3 record since 2016/17, as each victory saw the home team triumph. Leicester have won the last three at the King Power by a combined 8-1 scoreline, though the Gunners have picked up on their travels under Mikel Arteta.
They may have lost four of 19 away matches since December (W8-D7-L4), though all but a defeat to Man City at the Etihad came by just the single strike.
Arteta already has two trophies under his belt (FA Cup and Community Shield) and with no prospect of making a sustained challenge for the title, he’ll be looking at the cups as an opportunity to install a winning mentality at the club.
The Gunners have actually progressed past the third round of this competition in 16 of the last 17 seasons, only failing in 2014/15, though the Foxes have lost just one of their past 14 matches in the League Cup as they’ve reached the quarter-finals at a minimum in each of the past three campaigns.
Much might depend on which team boast the better depth to their squad as both have tough away matches up next, with Arsenal travelling to Liverpool and Leicester to visit Man City.
Jonny Evans serves the final match of his suspension here, while Ricardo Pereira and Filip Benkovic remain injured, though Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs and James Maddison could all return to the starting line-up for Leicester.
However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Morgan proves a hindrance here with the 36-year-old unlikely to cope well with the Gunners’ pace in attack. Mikel Arteta won’t be making wholesale changes to his side given the strength of opposition, but no doubt Nicolas Pepe should expect to join the attack having failed to start a game so far this season, and along with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could take turns in tormenting veteran Morgan.
Arteta is still without a number of defensive players himself. David Luiz returned against West Ham and William Saliba could be in line for his first start, but Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis all remain sidelined, while Kieran Tierney is a doubt and is unlikely to be risked.
However, apart from the Scottish left-back, none of the missing players are automatic picks for Arsenal in their best team, while new signing Gabriel Magalhaes has looked right at home in his first two appearances for the club.
Arsenal To Beat Leicester
The Gunners look set to edge this one with slightly greater squad depth and an impressive record against the top sides recently, with wins over Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea since mid-July, as well as a further stalemate with the Reds before triumphing on penalties in the Community Shield.
Meanwhile, Leicester have lost six of nine clashes with the top-eight finishers last term in any competition since just prior to Christmas, including four of the last five, as well as four of five at the King Power alone.