Leicester v Arsenal: latest team speculation and a negativist’s prediction

By Bulldog Drummond

So what we have learned thus far is that Jamie Vardy will play having missed Leicester’s League cup match and with a knee injury.   But Ricardo Pereira and Ayoze Perez are doubts due to injury and illness, although not both at the same time.

Ben White came off with an illness in our latest cup triumph.   There is no further news as to how Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney are, after missing the league cup game.

The BBC is maintaining their downbeat approach to Arsenal, Mark Lawrenson saying, “I am still not convinced by Arsenal, especially on the road. They are on a nice little unbeaten run but, other than Tottenham, they have not beaten anyone you wouldn’t expect them to – their other wins were against Norwich, Burnley, AFC Wimbledon, Aston Villa and Leeds.”

The fact is that three quarters – of our games during the league season are against teams from outside the traditional big six, so of course the list of clubs we have played of late are not in the big six.  That’s how it works!  One might have thought Lawrenson would realise by now, but I suppose he’s told old to learn maths having never got it thus far.

But then why cut out Tottenham from the list – or could it be that Tottenham were predicted to do quite well this season, by the same writer?  Hmmm…

And it goes on, “The Gunners were fortunate to nick a point at home to Crystal Palace too and, although they have turned a corner in terms of results, really you are just waiting for the next poor performance from them – because it will come.”

But the fact is Leicester are not consistent.  For example, they haven’t won three successive league games since the opening three fixtures, and since winning their one and only title, they have come 12th, ninth twice and fifth twice.

Worse for them, they have lost six and drawn one of their last 13 league games, and stopped the opposition scoring in just one of the last 15 games.

Only Chelsea have done better than our 14 away points in the last six fixtures, and we have lost just two of the last 11 away games.  All we need to do is to up the number of attempts on target and with Aubameyang coming back into form, Smith Rowe absolutely scintillating (he’s created 13 PL chances this season, and provided two assists in the last four games) and Saka fully rested midweek, we should add the one missing stat, which is several away goals.

So the team: the Guardian goes with…


Tomiyasu    White    Gabriel    Tavares

Saka    Partey    Lakonga    Smith Rowe

Lacazette    Aubameyang

As ever for the beach they list everyone possible: Leno, Hein, Okonkwo, Chambers, Holding, Soares, Marí, Tierney, Kolasinac, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Pépé, Ødegaard, Balogun, Martinelli, Nketiah

Leicestershire Live don’t give us an Arsenal team but they do say, “It was thought that Arsenal would be without three of their most important players for their trip to the King Power Stadium, namely defenders Kieran Tierney and Ben White, and attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard.

“But Mikel Arteta has now revealed that the trio are all in contention to play against the Foxes, in what could prove to be a pivotal match in the 2021/22 Premier League season.”

Just Arsenal offer


Tomiyasu    White    Gabriel    Tierney

Partey   Lokonga

Saka    Odegaard    Smith Rowe



Sky are one of a few places that think we will nick this one – they give us a 0-1 win, but no team suggestion.

Goonernews predict a 2-2 draw but won’t tell us who they think will play.  Sofascore.com however give us the Guardian’s line up with a few minor positional changes.

Football London go for quite a meander but in the end settle on


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares;

Saka, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe;

Lacazette, Aubameyang.

which by and large looks remarkably familiar when you come to think of it.

So I suspect it is fair to say it is going to be something along those lines.

After the game we shall be turning our attention to the women’s FA Cup match.

37 Replies to “Leicester v Arsenal: latest team speculation and a negativist’s prediction”

  1. Olicaf, we get the fouls figures after each round of matches, so yes we’ll have them. They were on 70 fouls for the season prior to this game.

  2. Well well, even the idiots on french TV are saying Arsenal are good….

    They are lauding their pressing…the goals…

    Then again, giving Liecester 2 up theirs in the first 15 minutes kind of makes a statement.

    I’ve got to check if I’m in the Twilight Zone ?

  3. Posession at half time : LEI 58, ARS 42

    I can see the stretegy : leave them the ball, so the chance of a counter that plays into Vardy’s strength is reduced.

    And so far it works. 20 minutes of a red hurricane to change any game plan LEI might have had.

    And Lacazette brings so much into the side. To me he is the inly one up front that I consider ‘physical’. A strongman. Not Giroud like, but he brings that ‘bull terrier’ threat that forces the defense to adjust.

    As for Ramsdale…he really looks more and more like worth every penny it cost to get him

  4. what a start … but we’ve shifted to “pedestrian” way too fast, haven’t we?
    as for white, you might think he holds a personal grudge against maddison: his first foul on the edge of the box was reckless, the second was plain inexcusable
    fortunately, ramsdale … wow!!
    hope we’ll jump down their throats from the getgo, and put the d..n thing to bed; our two jewels on the wings are a sight for sore eyes, let’s feed ’em again, and again, and again

  5. The U23s won their PL2 game against Leeds by 4-2 last night to return to the top of their league and start the weekend off on the right note. Balogun with a brace, one from open play the second a penalty,

  6. under the kosh right now…Evans sticks out a knee and brings down Ramsdale…nothing given.

  7. I thought wrestling a man to the ground when you were the last man back was a red card…Evans should be gone by now.

  8. Evans should have gottne a red. Last man to the goal.
    Or a second yellow following his attempted dangerous mugging

    Even the idiots on french TV say this is a refereeing error.
    No idea what VAR is doing…or rather..not surprised they are not doing anything.

    We need new blood and a third goal

  9. That Vardy foul on White was just mean, unecessary and an attempt to physically hurt a fellow player.
    I know why I never like the guy even if he scores goals.

  10. Unbelievable refereeing, except that we’ve seen it before.
    COYG. Need another goal and maybe just possibly the referee and VAR to regain some small credibility.

  11. Guys, there is ONE huge change that we are really seing today.

    Arsenal are able to withstand pressure. They ALL play like their lives are on the line….
    And so far it works. Against the refereeing which we know is a fact.
    But resist they do. And now we know they can.
    We can see they are tired. But they are succeeding so far.

    Just waiting for the PIGMOB penalty…

    5 or 6 more minutes to go

    As nice as our victory at the last second on a Welbeck goal some years ago.

  13. Good result. Leicester gave it a go but our lads were composed and brought home the bacon.

  14. sunderland home in the carabao quarter-finals, squeezed in between two away games (leeds, norwich) in december!! doesn’t look daunting, but i haven’t seen the “cats” play in a long, long time …

  15. What goes around, comes around (occasionally). LaPorte just got a red card in the Man. City game against Palace. It’s the seventh red card of his career.

  16. How was Laporte’s action different from Evans’ in our match? Evans shold have been sent off, too.

  17. Evans should have also already had at least a yellow for a number of fouls, not least the deliberate foul on Ramsdale in which he was making no pretence of challenging for the ball.

    No surprise, he has always been a dirty player, having learned at Man Utd.

    Vardy also a deliberate attempt to injure Ben White

  18. Watching the Gunners defend in the box was fascinating.
    Really they have adapted, anticipate more, few tackles, fully aware of the danger.

    All in all 7 tackles with 35% of the posession yet Leicester had 11 with 65 %.
    And not one yellow. Leicester should have had at least one red or a double yellow, not to talk about Vardy’s aggression.

    The ref visibly did not get an opportunity to clobber us directly, but he did help Leicester with all the tools at his disposal.
    And visibly the VAR guys were at the local pub enjoying the game while drinking a pint. Total incompetents. A disgrace to football.

  19. Not sure about tackles but other stats according to Flashscore:


    Goal attempts 9

    On target 5

    Fouls 11

    Yellows 0


    Goal attempts 16

    On target 8

    Fouls 8

    Yellows 2

  20. The table sure looks nicer. Our remontada is going nicely.
    And City have their 8 games unbeaten streak broken tonight.

    The Goal Difference table sure is interesting

    CHE +23
    LIV +21
    MCI +14
    WHU +6
    MNU +4

    Wonder how that was in previous years and what it means.
    Seriously, the differences are mindblowing

    There are only 6 teams with a positive GD. SIX.

    Never gave this number much thought, but in the last weeks, I’ve started wondering about it.

  21. I think I must have entered an alternative universe. Even Match of the Day made a point of saying the Laporte and Evans fouls were identical and Evans should have been sent off. Of course they didn’t show his earlier unprovoked assault on Ramsdale which escaped a yellow and they didn’t actually say that it’s about time refs we’re accountable and needed to explain themselves. So not that much of an alternative universe, more of a “slightly different on this occasion universe”.

    I wonder if they’d have highlighted it if we’d lost?!

  22. Mikey

    2 weeks on the trot and we should of been playing sides down to 10 men for a large proportion of the match.

    Even though, as you say, it (they) have both been mentioned it’s still not with the outrage you would get had we got away with them.

    That’s my point about the medias roll in this. When we get away with one, or at least if the medias perception is that we have got away with one, then they make such an almighty fuss about
    it that referees are left in no doubt as what a disgraceful mistake they have made and it should not happen again, and whats more everybody be aware, Arsenal are due some payback. ‘Same old Arsenal, always cheating’ I think they say don’t they ?

    And again, where is VAR in all this ?

    Just as a side not, I never saw another word about the Romero spitting at Fornells incident last week. Not even on here. I’ve looked at it dozens of times and there is no doubt he spat. It is difficult to see on phones, but on a TV it is obvious. It is mentioned on a couple of blogs so I’m not the only one who saw it but nothing else.

    I just don’t get how it’s been allowed to go unpunished. I don’t get why it hasn’t caused outrage. Spitting at someone is disgraceful.

  23. A really good performance and result. The team is beginning to look like a proper unit now and the remarkable thing is that yesterday all five of the summer signings started the match and gave really good accounts of themselves. It is most unusual for all new signings to hit the ground running so great credit to all concerned. Edu and Arteta took a lot of stick from the ‘experts’ and a large part of our fan base for either the (in their opinion) poor quality or the fact we overpaid for all of those signings. Well all of the new lads have settled in very quickly and are justifying the faith placed in them.
    Could it be the case that Edu and Arteta do actually know a hell of a lot more about managing and developing a football team than the so called expert critics, who constantly try to tell them where they are going wrong.
    It’s great to see so much egg on so many smug faces.

  24. 2 goals.
    Clean Sheet.
    Zero cards.
    3 points!

    Great day all around. More of the same, please.

  25. @ Nitram

    I totally agree with everything you say. I would just add, you know which club’s player got the record ban for spitting of course!

  26. Mikey

    I know.

    All the pitch brawls we see and we hardly see a yellow card, let alone a red, LET ALONE a points deduction, and a couple involving Chelsea and Spurs have been far worse than the one we got the points deduction for.

    And again when it’s us it’s players out of control, no discipline, shameful etc. etc., with others it’s just a spat or handbags or ‘understandably passions are running high’ blah blah blah.

  27. Nitram

    Well blow me down. An Aston Villa player brings down a player in the same circumstances and yet another red card.

    Not forgetting the brawl where a player was knocked to the ground with no red card. The only benefit of not having Xhaka fit is that referees don’t have carte blanche to send him off every time he sneezes.

    The PGMO were previously appalling. They have become so much worse. I’m surprised the betting industry aren’t crying out for a police investigation. It really can’t be that far away. If only the media had any integrity……..

  28. Mikey

    And if I’m not mistaken I think it was VAR that drew the referees attention to it ?

    But yet again when it comes to us VAR clearly failed in their duty to draw the Olivers attention to what he clearly missed, as they failed to do in the Villa match.

    Referees are bad as far as we are concerned, unbelievably VAR is worse.

  29. I say ‘unbelievably’ VAR is worse, but actually I did predict it would, on balance, be a tool to use against us, and so it is proving.

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