Leicester City will travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the second round of the English Premier League. Mikel Arteta’s men enjoyed a 2-0 victory away at Crystal Palace in the last round and will look to maintain their 100% record this season. Leicester City, on the other hand, settled for a single point against Brentford at home after letting a two-goal lead slip through their hands. Both teams have young and ambitious players who aim to finish the season on a high.
Arsenal comfortably took three points away from Selhurst Park in the first match of the English Premier League 2022/23 season. The Gunners had 43.7% ball possession but were more clinical in attack.
Leicester City, on the other hand, showed a dominant display against Brentford, but a lapse of concentration towards the end cost them two points.
Let us look at the three tactical points that we can take from the previous matches between these two teams.
The midfield battle
The main reason behind calling this a midfield battle is because of the talent these two teams have in the midfield, and the highest goal threat was also created from the midfield by the two teams.
Arsenal players were involved in 17 positional attacks and successfully attempted five shots with these attacks. Overall, the Gunners attempted nine shots, with two on target. The above viz shows that Arsenal created most of their attacks from the right side, but five attacks from the middle generated the highest xG. Last year, Arsenal created the greatest threat from the centre.
Like their weekend opponents, Leicester City were equally good from the centre. They created 34 positional attacks, with 16 coming from the middle. 15 shots were attempted by the Foxes, with 12 coming through these positional attacks. Leicester City players are also creative from the middle as their play doesn’t involve a lot of crossing.
The midfielders will battle to win the ball back and stop the opposition’s attack. They will also look to create their own attacks and try to find a hole in the opposition’s defence.
Leicester City’s tactical change in the formation
Brendan Rodgers’ team started in a 3-5-1-1 formation, with Jamie Vardy playing as the lone striker. He was supported by James Maddison and three midfielders, along with two wing-backs. The team was leading 2-1 when the manager made a change to the playing XI as well as the formation. He introduced Patson Daka to accompany Vardy in the attack. However, these tactics didn’t pay off, and they had to settle for a draw. This formation creates more threats towards the opposition goal as both full-backs get involved in the play. Arsenal will have to deal with the pace of these strikers, and they cannot allow them to make runs from behind their backs.
Arsenal’s solidity at the back
Arsenal kept a clean sheet in their last game. The goalkeeper would have thanked his defence, which played a crucial role. They won key battles outside the box and cleared the danger early. The above viz shows all the 95 recoveries made by the Gunners. They made 49 recoveries in the defensive third and 32 in the middle third. Most of the recoveries were made due to the better positioning of the players. Oleksandr Zinchenko is a more attacking full-back than Ben White. The Gunners play a high line on the left and create more attacks from the right side. They will once again look to keep a clean sheet and make it two wins in two matches.
Arsenal have a fully fit squad for this fixture. They were without Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira, and Tomiyasu in the last match. These players have recovered and trained with the first team in midweek. However, Arteta is unlikely to make any changes to the starting XI.
Ricardo Pereira’s injury troubles continue, and he will be sidelined for six months. There are no new injury concerns in Leicester City’s camp, and Rodgers might stick to the same XI that started the last match.
Arsenal go in as the favourites to register back-to-back wins in the English Premier League when they take on Leicester City. Both teams will face a tough test, and the match could go down to the wire. There are match-changing players on both sides, and they will be the big difference in the match.
Visuals via Wyscout