Preview: Leicester City v Arsenal

Arsenal will be targeting another strong performance against Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday, in what is Arsene Wenger’s penultimate match as their manager.

Premier League
9 May 2018
Gameweek 37
Kick-off: 20H45 local time
Venue: King Power Stadium
Referee: G. Scott
Assistants: L. Betts, M. Perry
Fourth official: C. Pawson

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Leicester 138 29 44 65
Arsenal 138 65 44 29

Previous encounter:

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester 11/08/17 (Premier League)

Arsenal goalscorers: A. Lacazette (2′), D. Welbeck (45′), A. Ramsey (83′), O. Giroud (85′)

Leicester goalscorers: S. Okazaki (5′), J. Vardy (29′, 59′)

Players to watch:

Jamie Vardy will be desperate to snap a three-match scoring drought after bagging five goals in each of his previous five appearances. The England international has netted 17 times in the Premier League this season and will want to finish strongly to prove to Gareth Southgate he merits a place in the Three Lions manager’s World Cup squad.

Alexandre Lacazette has rediscovered his scoring touch after a barren spell over the festive period. The French striker has registered eight goals in his last nine outings across all competitions since returning to fitness after knee surgery.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Gunners had hoped to give Wenger the perfect send-off by winning the Europa League final, but they were knocked out by Atletico Madrid in the last four.

They bounced back from that disappointment with a 5-0 hammering of Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday – the Frenchman’s final home game.

The north Londoners have little to play for other than pride as they will likely finish the Premier League season in sixth place.

Their league form on the road in 2018 has been dismal; Wenger’s side have lost all six outings away from home since the turn of the year and it is something the 68-year-old wants to rectify in the final two fixtures of the campaign.

“Yes, it’s true, I want to win the last two away games,” Wenger said in his pre-match press conference.

“But I must say it was a bit special circumstances with the fact that we played in the League Cup final, the Europa League quarter and semi-final and away from home I rotated the teams to prepare for these cup games.

“Overall I would say I want to finish with two wins and that’s why I will go to Leicester tomorrow giving absolutely everything to win the game.”

Foxes boss Claude Puel has come under pressure of late after failing to register a win in his last five games in the top flight.

The East Midlands outfit should improve on last season’s 12th-placed finish as they sit ninth in the table with two matches remaining, but a host of clubs are breathing down their necks.

Puel insists he isn’t feeling the heat, however, as he looks to bounce back from successive defeats to Crystal Palace (5-0) and West Ham (2-0).

“The Premier League is like a piranha club but the most important thing for me is to build for the future,” the Frenchman told the press.

“I came into a team in difficulties. We’ll finish in the top half of the table, it can create a problem with discussion and speculation. Seventh or eighth is the reality.

“The Premier League, we can accept this but in my work there is no pressure because it doesn’t change my philosophy. I will continue to build and perform and develop young players, this is not a risk, it is my job.”

Team news:

The hosts must do without Marc Albrighton, who accepted a two-match ban as punishment for his reaction to being sent off against the Eagles.

He joins a lengthy list of absentees, with Kasper Schmeichel (ankle), Shinji Okazaki (ankle), Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring), Danny Simpson (groin), Robert Huth (ankle), Matty James (Achilles), Ben Chilwell ankle) and Daniel Amartey (hamstring) all ruled out through injury.

Mohamed Elneny (ankle) and Mesut Ozil (back) miss out for the visitors, along with long-term injury victim Laurent Koscielny (Achilles).

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