Leicester would consolidate their top-four Premier League soccer position if they were able to defeat Arsenal at the King Power Stadium on Saturday (12:30pm ET).
Leicester have made an excellent start to the season that has clearly established them as viable contenders for a top-four finish. Eleven matches in, they sit third in the table, level on points with Chelsea in fourth and six clear of Arsenal in fifth.
Brendan Rodgers’ side recorded their third consecutive league victory with a 2-0 win away to Crystal Palace on Sunday. In a relatively cautious encounter, second-half goals from Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy steered Leicester to the three points. It was a fourth clean sheet of the season for the team with the joint-best defensive record in the division.
Before the campaign got underway, one statistical modelling site gave Leicester just a 10% chance of getting into the top four. They were projected to finish eighth, one better than last season. With 23 points on the board, that has jumped up to 58%, better even than the implied probability of their current odds to do so. They are third favorites with the top bookmakers for USA sports betting, albeit at around 40/1, to win the Premier League.
Even in a normal season, Leicester’s early-season points haul would be sufficient to bring them into top-four contention. Especially as they have no European football to stretch their squad. This does not look likely to be a normal season. Arsenal have been thoroughly unconvincing to date, while Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have been outright bad. Both are a further four points back from Arsenal, 10 points shy of Leicester.
The underlying numbers of Rodgers’ side are not quite as impressive as top-line results and their goal tally was hugely enhanced by demolishing the 10 men of Southampton 9-0. With few others producing good results, they are playing well enough to think that they now have a good chance of not just crashing the top six but of grabbing themselves a Champions League spot. A win on Saturday would see them pull nine points clear of their visitors.
With the international break upcoming, this weekend’s match could very well decide the future of Unai Emery as Arsenal head coach. His side come into the game on the back of just one win in their last five in the Premier League and defeat would leave them with an uphill struggle to claw themselves back into serious top-four contention.
For the third time this season, Arsenal dropped points from a winning position in their 1-1 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. A week after giving up a two-goal advantage against Crystal Palace at the Emirates, they were again unable to hold onto the lead provided to them by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 21st-minute strike. Wolves pushed forward and got a deserved equalizer a quarter-hour from time.
Arsenal were decent in Emery’s first season at the helm, finishing just one point short of the top four and reaching the final of the Europa League, where they were defeated by Chelsea. There has been little sign of further progress this time around. If anything they have gone backwards. The same weaknesses remain, and amidst the frustration, the relationship between players and supporters appears to be breaking down.
Three points this weekend would be unlikely to alleviate the underlying issues but would at least keep Arsenal in touch with the top four. However, given their away record under Emery’s command, there should be little confidence in them getting a positive result. Arsenal took five points less than any other top-six side on their travels last season. This time they have won just one of five, including a draw away at Watford and defeat at Sheffield United.
Our Preview’s Leicester vs Arsenal Betting Tips Verdict
Arsenal haven’t shown enough this season to form a convincing argument for them upsetting the form book at the King Power Stadium. Leicester have the defensive smarts and sufficient attacking firepower to continue their strong start to the campaign with another three points on Saturday. If you fancy a wager, our Leicester vs Arsenal prediction is:
- Bet on Leicester to win on the moneyline @ best odds of +105 with Bovada. The other US bookies’ lines range from -102 to +103.