Arsenal against Leicester City: Team news stats to mark the return of PL season
Premier league makes a return on Friday night when Arsenal play host to Leicester city for the opener of 2017/18 PL campaign at Emirates stadium
Gunner's boss Arsene Wenger will look up to starting the season on a remarkable note having beat Chelsea to community shield on Sunday.
Arsenal have made a good addition to it's squad depth in Alexandre Lacazette who joined the North London outfit from French league 1, on a £52m pounds deal, Kolasnic is as well a good arrival
The foxes have however made a significant signing in former Manchester City star Kelechi Iheanacho, the forward of Nigerian descent completed a switch to the king power stadium in a £25m deal.
Leicester city had a relatively bad season last term having failed to defend the PL trophy they wine earlier, were some what seen having a free fall to the bottom end until Shakespeare arrived to introduce some normalcy.
Arsenal team news Mesut Ozil is in line to feature against Leicester after overcoming an ankle injury and returning to training on Thursday. While the German defenders Shkodran Mustafi and could be available despite limited playing time in pre-season. ,
However Alexis Sanchez is out of the match on Friday with an abdominal strain injury, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin also returned to training but his calf means he is still a doubt for the game. Per Mertesacker, though, will be fine after suffering a nasty cut in the Community Shield.
Koscielny is suspended, while fellow centre-back Gabriel Paulista is injured, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere remain sidelined.
Leicester City team news New signings Harry Maguire and Vicente Iborra will likely start, but Kelechi Iheanacho is lacking in match fitness, want away winger Riyad Mahrez is yet to find a new club so is in line to feature for Leicester City, though Craig Shakespeare must decide if the player would perform.
Matty James could make his first start since May 2015 after recovering from anterior cruciate ligament injury and impressing during pre-season. However, Robert Huth and Danny Drinkwater are missing for the Foxes, while Islam Slimani is still recovering from a nasty gashed leg suffered in July.
Arsenal against Leicester City, Leicester had never won in 21 top-flight games against Arsenal, losing 14 of those matches. Their only victory came in the first Premier League encounter - a 2-1 win at Filbert Street on 23 November 1994.
Arsenal had won 10 successive Premier League home games against Leicester - their longest winning streak at home against a particular opponent.
The Foxes' last away win against the Gunners came in a top-flight match in September 1973, when Len Glover and Mike Stringfellow scored in a 2-0 victory.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger addressing the press ahead of the league opener he said,
“I have plenty of uncertainties about the players who didn’t play against Chelsea,” said the boss. “For example Ramsey, Ozil, Mertesacker… and of course, Koscielny is suspended.
“I have players coming back who have not played, like Mustafi. Alexis will not be available for example, so I cannot go into the game with too many uncertainties. I can take a gamble on one, maybe maximum two, but I focus more on the players who had the right number of competitive minutes in recent weeks.
“We are well prepared and ready for a fight, and of course ambitious as well.
“I think we have a good level of physical preparation. All our players got a decent number of minutes of good competition, so overall the preparation of the squad looks good.
“Then we need to transform the quality of the preparation into points and that is, of course, a pragmatic view, but what matters is we win the next game and start in a strong way, which we didn’t do last year. That’s what we want to achieve this season.”
The Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare speaking ahead the trip to Emirates
“The quality of their players, their fan base and the money that they can spend, they’ve always been dangerous,” Shakespeare said.
“They’re the FA Cup winners and Community Shield winners and they’ve got tremendous strength in depth so they’ll always be up there.
"[They have made] good additions to the quality they already have there.”
Arsenal against Leicester City, When posed to Shakespeare that City are yet to defeat the Gunners during the Premier League era, his response typified the confidence of his squad.
“There’s always a first time,” he said. “It would be nice to think it would be Friday night.”
The days which lead to a new season always bring excitement and Shakespeare say he is no different but insists that it is his job to control those emotions.
“Sometimes I may not look or sound like it but I’ve been involved in football since the age of 16 and you try and have a calmness outside,” he added.
“Inside, sometimes you can’t wait. We’ve had pre-season and I’m not a massive fan of it.
"You want the first game and that’s when the real-life football starts.
“I think because it is the first game, [the squad] is chomping at the bit to get started.
“Players will put an emphasis on pre-season that they want enough games and minutes on the pitch but whoever we play in the first game is exciting.
“We’re in a most competitive league in the world at the moment. We’ve spoken about the money spent. We have to try and win most of the games that we compete in but we know the roller coaster that the Premier League can be as well.”
Possible Line up Arsenal are Cech, Bellerin, Holding, Monreal, Mustafi, Xhaka, Eleney, Chamberlin, Iwobi, Welbeck, and Lacazette.
Line up for Leicester City - Schmeichel, Simpson, Fuchs, Maguire, Morgan, Ndidi, James, Albriton, Mahrez, Okazaki, Vardyl
Can Shakespeare make history at Emirates stadium, that is left to be seen