Arsenal’s opening weekend was exponentially better than their opening day from the previous season. A 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the 22/23 Premier League curtain-raiser went a long way towards expunging the 2-0 reverse in last season’s opening day loss. And it wasn’t just the result; it was the performance too.
It wasn’t a complete walkover, but that speaks more to Palace’s improvements rather than any deficiencies in Mikel Arteta’s side. Players like Gabriel Jesus, William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko will all be better for their first run in a Gunners shirt.
It is with all this optimism that Arsenal play their first home game of the season. Leicester City is the opponent, and Brendan Rodgers’ men are a side showing some alarming signs of a club on the slide.
Leicester City at Arsenal FC FYIs
Kick-off: Saturday, Aug 13, 3pm local, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal Preview Material: Starting XI Prediction Team News
Leicester City Team News: go here
Google Result Probability: Arsenal victory 66% Draw 20% Leicester City victory 14%
Watch: This is not on TV in the United States, only on a fee required streaming service, and it’s the additional cost, premium version of that service too.
The team news begins on a bright note. Three of the players who were unavailable for the opening round match against Palace have returned. Emile Smith-Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira have all returned to first-team training. That’s a huge boost for the Gunners, as all three will now be considered for selection.
Tomiyasu played 45 minutes for the U-21 side against the Manchester United U-21s this week.
All three are severely lacking match fitness, so they are unlikely to start the match at the Emirates this weekend. Tomiyasu is an outside chance, given that he played 45 minutes with the kids, but probably any minutes for this trio will likely come from the bench.
With these players now available, Mikel Arteta now has a full squad of first team players to choose from.
Stueys Two Cents
I am pretty high on the Gunners right now. I think they have recruited well and pose a genuine threat regarding a top four finish this season. Don’t put money on that though. As Crystal Palace fans will attest, I have been spectacularly wrong before. And that is what should give Leicester City fans some hope, because I think they will struggle to be competitive this season.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks