How do you beat a team 25 points behind you, one that has only scored six goals more than you have conceded? How do you pile more misery on a team with three League defeats on the bounce and at the very base of the log? But, very importantly, how do you do one better than your previous game against them when you were barely lucky to get a draw?
Leicester will be tougher to beat than their League position and managerial shenanigans may suggest but there is just about enough Arsenal can do to keep them refrigerated.
The Crosses Must Stop Being The Undoing.
Saturday’s defeat was not a case of a loss of defensive shape and so there could not be much fault to be labeled on the defensive performance on the game, save a lapse in concentration. Bellerin did look like he got exposed on some occasions but we do not really expect that he becomes a Philip Lahm overnight. More worrying, though, should be the fact that the manner of goals conceded have almost always been from one route – crosses – and that is a strange thing to observe in a back four that boasts much experience in three 28-plus-year olds and the League’s tallest defender.
Besides the two faults at Southampton, Philipe Coutinho was the last player to breach the Arsenal defence by a goal which had not come from a cross, and against a team who have Uljoa, Pearson will be looking to take that route.
It has been one of the signs of an upturn in form this year that Arsenal have been able to score in the first 15 minutes in four of the last five games and there will be no better way to make Leicester’s imaginations of relegation more vivid than setting them back by one or two in the opening quarter.
Ozil and Welbeck Works.
Three goals in three games, and all the talk of where he would fit in are no more in the air. The German has taken up more of a forward role in the team since his return, leaving the job of creation much to Santi Cazorla. Obviously, Ozil is more renowned as a creator than a scorer but if scoring is his new way of getting his confidence back, no one will be making objections. Then there is his combination with Welbeck which seems to favour both players, as we saw at Aston Villa. Danny Rose’s attempt to get him sent off might have made him more quiet in the second half but he showed nothing but good signs on his return.
One goal won’t win it.
Arsenal have not conceded much at the Emirates lately and have not failed to win the last seven, but with the defence shipping four in the last three in all competitions, the back line appears shaky again. There are many reasons why the Gunners are comparable to Barcelona, the Catalans had to score five on Sunday to beat Bilbao 5 – 2.
Don’t stray near Pearson
Some had imagined the attempt to ‘strangle’ Palace’s McArthur would be the tipping point in his been sacked but Nigel Pearson will visit the Emirates on Tuesday as still the Leicester City boss. Knowing Arsenal’s injury crisis, one of the players could likely lose an ankle if the Foxes boss tried a second choke slam. Just stay clear, guys.
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