On Friday night, Arsenal kick-off their Premier League campaign by hosting Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners head into the campaign in optimistic mood having beaten champions Chelsea on penalty kicks in the Community Shield last time out. Summer signings striker Alexandre Lacazette and defender Sead Kolasinac looked to have bedded into the team nicely.
The team from north London have enjoyed a generally a mixed pre-season. However, the Gunners will expect to pick up three points in this Premier League opener. Leicester have a terrible record against Arsenal, as the Foxes have won just one of the last 33 meetings between the two teams.
That win was back in 1994 at Filbert Street. The Foxes last win at Arsenal was in 1973, which was at Highbury in the old First Division.
Arsenal’s record at the end of last season will also give them cause for optimism heading into this clash. Arsene Wenger’s side won their last five games of the Premier League season and missed out on a top-four finish by just a point.
Wenger’s sides form on home soil was also good towards the end of the campaign, as they won six of their last seven Premier League games on home soil. They also kept five clean sheets in that seven-game run.
Leicester endured a mixed campaign last season and have also enjoyed a mixed pre-season as well. However, the signings of Harry Maguire, Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra look like shrewd ones for the Foxes.
Craig Shakespeare’s team finished last season in a poor manner, failing to win any of their last three league outings and suffering two defeats in the process.
The Foxes recent away record in the Premier League is also poor, as the side from the Midlands have won just two of their last 21 away outings in the league. History and the omens seem to be against an away win in this clash.
Arsenal have some big absentees heading into this clash. Centre-back Laurent Koscielny is suspended, while Alexis Sanchez, Gabriel, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are sidelined through injury. Francis Coquelin, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are also fitness doubts.
Leicester also have some key absences heading into this clash. Robert Huth, Danny Drinkwater and Vicente Iborra are all ruled out through injury. Nampalys Mendy, Kelechi Iheanacho, Molla Wague and Islam Slimani are also doubts for the Foxes.
Arsenal head into this clash as favourites at odds of 1/ 2 to win this clash, while the draw is odds of 15/4 and the visitors are odds of 6/1 to record an unlikely away win.
Arsenal will be confident of kicking their campaign off with a victory in this clash against a Leicester team with some major absentees.
Will Arsenal win their opening Premier League game of the campaign?