The English Premier League season kicks off officially on Friday night with a mouth-watering tie at the Emirates. The Gunners will be hoping to gain confidence from their controversial penalty shootout win over Chelsea on Sunday and kick on with home advantage whilst Craig Shakespeare’s men will be hoping to recapture the form that saw them lift the Premier League in 2015/16.
English Premier League – Emirates Stadium – Arsenal vs Leicester City 09/08/17 – Kick off 19:45 GMT
Best Odd of: 20/1 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 8/1 at William Hill
Best Odd of: 1/10 at Coral
New signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac look to have strengthened the team in key areas and with Arsene Wenger contracted to 2 more years at the helm, they’ll be hoping to get off to a flyer here.
The predominance of the pre-season talk has centred round Alexis Sanchez – he won’t feature on Friday due to injury but Arsenal fans will be sincerely hoping he doesn’t leave the club before the window closes as he was integral to their attacking prowess last season.
With no real departures of note (yet), Arsene Wenger will be hoping to build on last season’s FA Cup winning campaign and kick on towards Champions League football this campaign.
2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester will be looking for a season of stability following last season’s rollercoaster campaign. Craig Shakespeare has landed the manager’s job on a full-time basis and looks to have the players on board.
The summer arrivals headlined by Kelechi Iheanacho, Vicente Iborra and Harry Maguire will add a youthful look to a team which seemed to age quickly last year.
Much like Arsenal, Leicester’s hopes this season could hinge on whether they manage to keep one of their prize assets. Speculation around the future hasn’t gone away all summer and the Algerian has plenty of admirers around the football world and the Foxes will be doing all they can to hold on to him.
Head to Head
Historically this has always been a successful fixture for Arsenal with the North Londoners leading the head to head 64:29 with 44 draws in all competitions. In the corresponding fixture last year, Arsenal took all 3 points thanks to a late Robert Huth own goal in a 1-0 win.
Odds and Predictions
Early season matches are notoriously unpredictable but Arsenal’s superior squad coupled with their resilient showing against Chelsea make them favourites at 4/9 with SkyBet. Leicester are always a threat and perhaps look a little generous at 11/2 with William Hill, whilst the the draw can be backed at 10/3 with Coral.
The ‘Draw no Bet’ market also offers a chance to back Arsenal at odds of 1/5 or Leicester at 7/2, with the security of receiving your money back if the game finishes level after 90 minutes.
Over 2.5 goals in the match (90 minutes) at 8/13 (Betfair) looks a shrewd move with both defences getting a pre-season makeover. The bolder amongst you could go for the Over 3.5 goals in the match bet at 6/4 with Coral.
This is the perfect way to get the EPL season up and running. Leicester are always a threat and will fancy their chances of grabbing a goal but with home advantage, Arsenal should pick up the 3 points.
Top Betting Tip
Arsenal to win and both teams to score in the match at 2/1 with William Hill.