Author Archives: Ribin Peter

Match Preview: Arsenal FC vs Leicester City FC

Arsenal FC take on Leicester City FC on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners will go to any extent to grab all three points to stay in the top four. Mikel Arteta’s side survived a scare to overcome Watford 3-2 last time out, while the Foxes arrive having claimed a 2-0 advantage in the first leg of their Europa Conference League last-16 tie with Rennes. 

Arsenal have won eight of their past ten games in the Premier League (D1, L1). The 25 points they have accrued during that period is the joint-most in the division, alongside Manchester City. The Gunners could become the first team to win five consecutive Premier League matches by a one-goal margin since Birmingham City in November and December 2009.

Leicester have won successive league matches for just the second time this season, keeping consecutive clean sheets for the first time in 13 months. They haven’t earned three Premier League wins in a row since January 2021. In their most recent away fixture, victory at Burnley ended a run of four straight league defeats, and no win in six, on the road.

Team News:

Arsenal FC: The Gunners will be without right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu as he struggles with a calf issue. It means Cedric Soares is due to start in defence, and Arteta could name the same XI who beat Watford as Arsenal look to make it five Premier League wins in a row. Emile Smith Rowe is expected to be back in the squad this weekend after a bout of COVID-19.

Leicester City FC: Wesley Fofana’s potential comeback against Rennes was ruined by a positive COVID-19 test. The 21-year-old who has just recovered from a devastating fractured fibula will likely be available for the second leg with the French side rather than the clash with the Gunners.

Head-to-Head:

Arsenal won the reverse fixture 2-0 and are looking to complete a league double over Leicester for the first time in six seasons. However, Leicester could win back-to-back away league games against the Gunners for the first time. Last season’s 1-0 victory ended their 23-match winless league run away to Arsenal.

Arsenal wins: 69

Draws: 45

Leicester wins: 33

Possible XI:

Arsenal’s possible starting lineup:

Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette

Leicester City’s possible starting lineup:

Schmeichel; Justin, Amartey, Soyuncu, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Iheanacho

Match Details: 

Arsenal vs Leicester is scheduled for a 4.30 pm GMT kick-off on Sunday, March 13, 2022.

Emirates Stadium in London will host the match.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

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Match Preview: Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers will arrive at the Emirates Stadium in London to face Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. In the space of one month, the Gunners will be looking to have a second win over Wolves. The Gunners won 1-0 at Molineux back on February 10 and head into the midweek battle one place and two points better off than their opponents, having played a game fewer.

This game will be crucial for both teams as they will be looking to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. So, the game will be tight as both teams needed the three points. A win will certainly boost their run for the remainder of this season. A win could take Arsenal a point behind Manchester United with two games in hand. But it won’t be easy against Wolves, a team that has been transformed a lot under Bruno Lage.

Against Brentford, Arsenal had a dominant victory with the goals from Saka and Smith Rowe. Martinelli served his one-game ban following his Molineux red card in the win over Brentford, and the Brazilian’s return means that Arteta is blessed with a fully-fit squad for this crucial battle.

In February, Arsenal is having a terrific run. They opened the month of February with two wins from two in the top flight and could be considered as the leaders of the top-four chasing pack, currently sat sixth but only four points behind Manchester United with three games in hand.

Wolves will start the match after a narrow win over Leicester City last week. But it boosted their chance for a top-four spot, and against Gunners, they will need another three points to keep the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester United. 

Team News:

Arsenal: The exciting news for Mikel Arteta is the return of Gabriel Martinelli. Arsenal almost has a fully fit squad. Cedric Soares might start over Takehiro Tomiyasu as he had a great match against Brentford. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Yerson Mosquera and Willy Boly have returned to full training, and the Molineux crowd witnessed the very welcome sight of Pedro Neto making his first appearance of the season against Leicester following his serious knee injury. Rayan Ait-Nouri’s presence is in doubt after getting a knock against Leicester City. 

Head-to-Head:

Arsenal wins: 59

Draws: 28

Wolves wins: 32

Possible line-ups:

Arsenal possible starting lineup:

Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting line-up:

Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Dendoncker, Marcal; Trincao, Jimenez, Podence

Kick-Off: Thursday 24 February

Kick-Off Time: 19:45 (GMT)

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: Martin Atkinson

 

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Arsenal to Barcelona: The best transfers

On the deadline day of the winter transfer window, Barcelona signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he terminated his contract with Arsenal. The player signed a contract until 30 June 2025 with an option to agree departure on 30 June 2023, and his buy out clause is 100 million euros. 

The Gabonese striker is the ninth player who moved from London to the Catalan club. The eight other players who left Arsenal for Barcelona in the past years were: 

Aleksandr Hleb

Thomas Vermaelen

Alex Song

Emmanuel Petit

Marc Overmars

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Cesc Fabregas

Thierry Henry

Let’s have a look at the players who had great success after the big move:

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas came through La Masia, Barcelona’s youth academy, leaving at 16 when he was signed by Premier League club Arsenal in September 2003. He was a well-established player in the first XI of the Gunners after several injuries. 

After a long spell with Arsenal, he returned to Barcelona in 2011. During his three-year spell at the Camp Nou, Fabregas played alongside Xavi and Andres Iniesta and won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups. He returned to London in June 2014 to Arsenal’s cross-town rivals Chelsea for a fee of 30 million pounds, and in his first year there, he helped to secure League Cup and Premier League triumphs.

Thierry Henry

One of the most decorated footballers in the history of European football. Henry made his professional debut with Monaco in 1994 before signing for defending Serie A champions Juventus. He joined Arsenal in 1999 for 11 million pounds. 

Under long-time mentor and coach Arsene Wenger, Henry became a prolific striker and Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer with 228 goals in all competitions. He won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times won two FA Cups and two Premier League titles with the club, including one during an unbeaten season dubbed The Invincibles. He spent his final two seasons with Arsenal as club captain, leading them to the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. 

In June 2007, he transferred to Barcelona. In the 2008–09 season, Henry was a crucial part of the club’s historic treble when they won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. In 2010, he joined New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer but returned to Arsenal on loan for two months in 2012, before retiring in 2014.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Van Bronckhorst was part of an Arsenal side that memorably won the Premier League in 2002, sealing the victory at the home of fierce rivals Manchester United.

In 2003, he joined Barcelona from Arsenal on a loan deal and in 2004, he moved on a permanent transfer. He was an instrumental player in Barcelona’s 2005–06 UEFA Champions League victory, being in the starting line-up of the final, having played every Champions League match for Barcelona that season.

 

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