Leicester vs Arsenal preview: Vardy returns for Foxes

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Leicester vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.

Team news

Jamie Vardy will be back in the Leicester squad when they resume their Premier League campaign against Arsenal.

The striker sat out the Carabao Cup win against Brighton after he was taken off as a precaution at Brentford due to a knee problem.

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Mikel Arteta says he’s fully focused on his work at Arsenal, following reports linking him with the Barcelona job.

Ricardo Pereira and Ayoze Perez will be assessed. Pereira experienced some tightness after the game in midweek while Perez has been ill.

Arsenal are dealing with a sickness bug within the squad as they prepare for the match.

Pablo Mari was unable to play in the Carabao Cup win over Leeds having been struck down with illness and Benjamin White came off during the game with the same issue.

Granit Xhaka (knee) is out while there will be a late fitness test for Kieran Tierney (ankle).

How to follow

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A look at the key stats ahead of the fixtures in Matchweek 10 of the Premier League, including Tottenham vs Manchester United and Wolves vs Everton

Follow Leicester vs Arsenal in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel from 5.15pm on Saturday.

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester’s win against Brentford

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Aston Villa

Jones Knows prediction

Arsenal looked like a top-four team for large parts of their convincing victory over Aston Villa last Friday. The tricky part of analysing a true performance level of a team though is to assess the strength of such a form-line. Were Arsenal absolutely savage? Or were Aston Villa just plain ordinary?

This Arsenal team aren’t to be trusted just yet as they are packed with inexperience and flaky players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who looked motivated to the max against Villa but are also equally likely to throw in a stinker the next week. But at prices like 7/4 with Sky Bet to win at Leicester, I’m happy to back Arsenal.

I don’t have any trust issues with Arsenal’s defence. The Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Gabriel axis has an impressive look to it. In six games, the trio have conceded just four goals with an expected goals against figure of 5.2 backing up their cohesive play. It’s the second-best defensive record of any Premier League team in that period, according to the expected goals against metrics.

They have also yet to concede a goal in the first half in those six matches.

With Leicester not exactly firing in the final third – all their key attacking metrics have them ranked as a mid-table team this season – there is a case to be made for backing an Arsenal win without them conceding at 4/1 with Sky Bet. Four of Arsenal’s last five wins on the road have been achieved with a clean sheet and since the start of last season only Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have won more games to nil away from home than Arsenal (8).

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1 | BETTING ANGLE: Arsenal to win to nil (4/1 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

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Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased with the performances of goal-scorers Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fourth-round penalty shootout win over Brighton

  • After a 22-game winless run against Arsenal in the Premier League between 1995 and 2018, Leicester have won four of their last seven against the Gunners in the competition (D1 L2).
  • Arsenal won twice away against Leicester last season – 2-0 in the League Cup and 3-1 in the Premier League. They’ve not won three consecutive away games against the Foxes in all competitions since September 1925.
  • Leicester have won their last two Premier League games, beating Manchester United and Brentford, and are looking for three consecutive league wins for the first time since winning their first three games in 2021 against Newcastle, Southampton and Chelsea.
  • Having lost consecutive away Premier League games at the start of February (vs Wolves & Aston Villa), Arsenal have since lost just two of their 11 league games on the road (W6 D3). However, Arsenal have won just one of their last 12 away Premier League matches on a Saturday that have kicked off before 1pm (D5 L6), beating Fulham 3-0 on MD1 last season.
  • Arsenal have scored just one goal in their four Premier League away games so far this season, with only Norwich (6) having fewer attempts on target on the road than the Gunners (9).
  • Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal than he has vs any other side in the competition (11). In fact, only Wayne Rooney (12) has netted more against the Gunners in the competition than Vardy.
  • Four of Brendan Rodgers’ five league wins against Arsenal have come on home soil, winning once with Swansea, once with Liverpool and three times with current club Leicester.
  • Despite playing just 84 Premier League minutes this season – all as a substitute – Patson Daka has been directly involved in two goals for Leicester (one goal, one assist), scoring in his only appearance at the King Power Stadium. The only two Foxes players to score in their first two home Premier League appearances for the club are Julian Joachim (1994 at Filbert Street) and Leonardo Ulloa (2014).
  • Two of the four players aged 21 or younger to create more than 10 chances in the Premier League this season are Arsenal duo Emile Smith Rowe (13) and Bukayo Saka (14), with Smith Rowe assisting in two of his last four Premier League appearances.
  • Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been involved in five goals in his last six Premier League appearances (4 goals, 1 assist). However, all of these have been in home games, with his last goal away from the Emirates coming at Newcastle in May.

Premier League Preview: Redknapp’s Tottenham vs Man Utd verdict | Will West Ham’s rise continue? | Problems for Norwich, Everton

Pete Smith is joined by Jamie Redknapp, Oliver Yew and Simeon Gholam to preview another bumper weekend of Premier League action.

PART 1 | Jamie Redknapp previews the Saturday Night Football clash between Tottenham and Manchester United. Will United bounce back from their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend?

PART 2 | Pete Smith is joined by Oliver Yew and Simeon Gholam to look ahead to Aston Villa vs West Ham on Super Sunday. West Ham’s season continues to get better and better after their Carabao Cup victory against Man City. Will that good run continue at Villa Park?

PART 3 | Norwich vs Leeds on Super Sunday and Wolves vs Everton on Monday Night Football: Pressure building on Daniel Farke, Rafael Benitez looking for solutions.

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