[dropcap]A[/dropcap]rsenal’s quest to finish fourth in another Premier League season begins on Friday night at the sold-out Emirates as they welcome Leicester City in the opening game of the season.
Since winning the title in 2003/4 Arsenal’s subsequent finishing positions have been 2443434344325. If they were a horse, the handicapper would surely show mercy and give them a decent head start.
Star Sports make the Gunners an 11/1 chance to win the title – fifth down the list behind Man City, Man U, Chelsea and arch rivals Tottenham. Leicester are 250/1 shots to repeat their heroics of two years ago which seem a distance memory. It really was ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for Leicester last season who parted company with Claudio Ranieri and it looked perilous for a long time about their chances of staying in the top flight.
Last season’s two encounters don’t give us much hope of a goal frenzy. The corresponding fixture last season finished 1-0 to Arsenal and it was goal-less at the King Power. Just one goal in 180 minutes and that was an own goal from Robert Huth who will miss Friday through injury.
I am wondering whether we will see a subdued start to the new season as we witnessed last weekend in the Championship. Only two of the 12 games went over 2.5 goals which is understandable as teams settle down and the openers may be more cagey affairs than normal.
There’s always a team that’ll blow theories out of the window however and last week that was Luton in League Two who beat Yeovil 8-2.
Leicester have boosted their strength up front with the arrival of £25 million striker Kelechi Iheanacho but he seems set to start on the bench after a pre-season knock.
I’m hoping and expecting Arsenal to get off to a flyer for no other reason than to avoid the tedium of the ‘Wenger Out’ placards which will undoubtedly surface.
The Gunners moaning has already started though. They are unhappy that Mike Dean has been appointed as referee for this.
New season but some things never change.
Arsenal v Leicester City
19:45 Sky Sports Premier / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD
HEAD TO HEAD
(Maximum 10 matches)
Apr 2017 PREMIER Arsenal 1-0 Leicester
Aug 2016 PREMIER Leicester 0-0 Arsenal
Feb 2016 PREMIER Arsenal 2-1 Leicester
Sep 2015 PREMIER Leicester 2-5 Arsenal
Feb 2015 PREMIER Arsenal 2-1 Leicester
Aug 2014 PREMIER Leicester 1-1 Arsenal
May 2004 PREMIERSHIP Arsenal 2-1 Leicester
Dec 2003 PREMIERSHIP Leicester 1-1 Arsenal
Jan 2002 PREMIERSHIP Leicester 1-3 Arsenal
Aug 2001 PREMIERSHIP Arsenal 4-0 Leicester
Arsenal HT/FT can be backed at 6/5 with Star Sports. My first bet of the new season.
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BACK ARSENAL HT/FT 10 points win at 6/5 with Star Sports
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