Leicester City vs. Arsenal and Pick to Win
Date:Saturday, August 20th, 2016
Where: English Premier League – King Power Stadium, Leicester, United Kingdom
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Leicester City 2/1, Draw 13/5, Arsenal 22/15
Moneyline: Leicester +200, Draw +260, Arsenal +145
Over/Under Best Market: UNDER 2.5 6/5 (+120)
Arsenal limps in after they were embarrassed at Emirates Stadium last Sunday, when they played host to Liverpool, falling 4-3. The score was not indicative of how the game was played. Arsenal trailed by a margin of 4-1 and only found their way back in to the game after Liverpool called off the dogs. In fact, Arsenal scored first and Liverpool would follow up with a deluge of strikes surging to the front as they stole three points from the Gunners. The loss was monumental as Arsenal had not lost a game at home to Liverpool in their previous nineteen. Needless to say, the Reds had other ideas and snapped that streak with style in Highbury. Now Arsenal enters still as the favorite to win this contest at Leicester outright even when they come in a low note.
Leicester City has seemed to be worn thin after enduring a vigorous Champions League play, followed up by a very disappointing portfolio of performances against European elite football clubs. However, as we have stated recently a defending champion is still a defending champion and we get this team at home where home pitch advantage has been significant for this outfit historically. The stock in Leicester has never been lower after they were upended in the Community Shield against Manchester United followed up by an abysmal defeat against recently promoted Hull City to kick off their 2016/17 campaign. To put the Hull City defeat in to perspective, the Tigers were relegated from the Premiership in 2014/15, only to re-emerge after playing their way back in through the Football League Championship last season. Now after being the victim of Week One’s upset of the week, the Foxes are in perfect position for a buy-back opportunity.
Despite the talent, Arsenal has had many note struggles on the road historically. The hostility of the King Power Stadium will not play in to the Gunners’ hand by any means. Arsenal has been stunned on numerous occasions when they traveled away from the Emirates and nothing encapsulates this more than a game they stole at St James’ Park in the 2015/16 when they had to rely on hi-jinx to escape the now relegated Newcastle United Magpies. In fact, Arsenal despite the talent they bolster have not been able to foster any hardware of consequence. In a year where Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool were in transition, the Gunners could not take advantage and came in as runner-up for the English Premier League after Tottenham’s dark horse title hopes were extinguished by the defending champion Leicester City.
Entering this fixture with respect to Leicester City’s recent troubles, Arsenal is the expected winner of this contest. However, there is a right to feature dissenting opinions. As highlighted previously, the Gunners have had trouble on the road and in the first week of this season, the Gunners defense looked sick and overly exposed. Let us not forget that Leicester has some weapons in their arsenal and their names are Mahrez and Vardy. Vardy is a player that knows how to challenge the back line of any team and if Arsenal’s defense looks to be amiable to the Leicester City striker, it may actually be a long day at the office for the Gunners. Nevertheless, Leicester City will likely try to play this match to their own tune, keeping this one close and making it a battle of defense where the edge would surely lie with the Foxes. As a result, this contest will likely be a lower scoring affair and given the fact we can take back a good price on two goals or less, we will happily dive in. Leicester City outright with the Under 2.5 is our call.
Leicester City Recent Form
L – Hull City 1-2
L – Manchester United 1-2
L – Barcelona 2-4
L – PSG 0-4
D – Celtic 1-1
Arsenal Recent Form
L – Liverpool 3-4
W- Manchester City 3-2
W – Aston Villa 4-0
D – Manchester City 2-2
W – Norwich City 1-0
Keith's Prediction for the Game: Leicester City +200 and UNDER 2.5 6/5 (+120)
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