Week 2: Leicester v Arsenal

The opening weekend yielded some success courtesy of Liverpool’s thrilling 4-3 win over Arsenal.

However there was no joy in the Monday Night Football match with the goals coming in the second half.

After week one we’re in a small profit of +0.10.


Leicester City v Arsenal

Venue: King Power Stadium

Kick Off: 17:30

Referee: Mark Clattenburg


Team News

Claudio Ranieri will be delighted to be able to recall Robert Huth to the side following meaning the Foxes are at full strength.

The big German will resume his partnership with Wes Morgan and that should steady the Leicester ship after looking all at sea during their defeat at Hull.

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It wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see either Shinji Okazaki or Marc Albrighton return to the starting line-up after they started on the bench in their opener.

With Per Mertesacker already ruled out there was more injury woe for Arsene Wenger.

Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Alex Iwobi (thigh) are both out for three weeks with their respective injuries meaning there could be starts for Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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Laurent Koscielny may get the call to return to the starting eleven despite his fitness still being an issue. The Frenchman played no part in pre-season due to his Euro 2016 exploits but after shipping four goals against Liverpool this is a game the Gunners need their key defender.

Wenger was also without Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, for similar reasons as Koscielny, and both could also return to the starting line-up, which would bolster their prospects.


Preview

Neither side got off to a perfect start with the champions Leicester falling to a shock defeat against a Hull side in apparent disarray. Arsenal on the other hand blew a goal lead to succumb to Liverpool in an entertaining 4-3.

The pressure is on Arsene Wenger to spend however his attempt to attract Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been in vein, as the dynamic duo have both signed new contracts at the King Power.

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A bet that landed in both of their respective games last weekend and is high on my list of bets is Both Team to Score & Over 2.5 Goals. In the four meetings since Leicester returned to the top flight this bet would have landed in three of them, with the 1-1 draw in August 2014 being the only one to fail.

Despite Robert Huth returning for Leicester and the possibility of Laurent Koscielny starting for Arsenal I would expect to see goals at the King Power due to the high levels of attacking creativity on both sides.

A man that has caused the Foxes a few headaches in recent meetings is Theo Walcott.

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The 27 year old has found the net in their last three games and the Englishman got off the mark against Liverpool, minutes after failing from the spot. His pace in behind could leave Leicester exposed once more and he is worth a look to score anytime.

Mark Clattenburg takes charge of his first Premier League encounter. After a busy summer in France he returned to action in midweek taking charge of a Champions League qualifier where he showed four yellows and awarded a penalty.

The official from County Durham took charge of 30 Premier League games last season where he brandished 97 yellows and six red cards; that’s 3.52 cautions per game.

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The overall league card average was 3.32 in 2015/16 but on the opening weekend of this season that was at 4.2 per game. It is too early to suggest that referees are being card happy but it does indicate the clampdown on dissent shown towards officials.

The cards in the last four games have been (red cards in brackets): 7 (1), 2, 4 & 4. The bookies have the bar at 3.5 cards in this contest and Over would have landed on three occasions, so the 4/6 doesn’t look too bad.

Arsenal had a mixed record with Clattenburg in charge winning two and losing two of the four matches he officiated but the Foxes were unbeaten in his presence – winning three and drawing one.

I’ve mentioned the Premier League meetings and in those matches the corner count has gone above ten in all four. The totals have been 12, 11, 12 & 15, so the 4/5 on Over 10.5 Corners may not be a bad bet but a word slight caution is that the average on the opening weekend was 10.

Arsenal’s game against Liverpool featured 9 and Leicester’s trip to Hull had one fewer at 8, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see those figures go up here.

If you combine goals and corners, as William Hill does, then Over 2.5 Goals and 10-12 corners would be the way to go at 4/1.

This looks a fascinating game with plenty of potential ways in for betting purposes with goals topping my list


 Advice:

Both Team to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 – Coral)

 Theo Walcott to score anytime (5/2 – 0.5pt)

 

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