- Lacazette expected to debut for Gunners up top
- Arsenal must cope with various injuries (Alexis, Ozil, Ramsey)
- Arsenal leads all-time series 64-44-29
- Foxes last defeated Gunners in league play in 1983
It’s the day we’ve been waiting for! Premier League action is back on Friday as Arsenal hosts Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium to kick off the 2017/18 campaign. (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The biggest news for both sides heading into the opener is injuries, and Arsenal’s long list of absentees could play into Leicester’s favor on opening night.
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Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are just three of Arsene Wenger‘s tabbed starters that will likely miss the clash against the Foxes due to respective injuries, while Leicester’s biggest loss is midfielder Danny Drinkwater.
Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny is suspended for the PL’s first match of the season.
What they’re saying
Arsenal Wenger on Alexis’ injury: “He had a scan two days ago and he’s out for a while – we don’t know if it is two weeks or one more week, but he will not be available. For us, Alexis Sanchez is a loss, of course. But we have all the other players prepared in pre-season and they are all ready. It can happen in pre-season and anyway, I don’t think I would have included him on Friday night. I don’t think I would have started him.
“He is focused. Of course when you have treatment on a medical bench, it’s not easy.”
Craig Shakespeare speaks about importance of a potentially historic win: “The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world and Arsenal are one of the best clubs in it, year after year they’ve shown their consistency. We haven’t been able to beat them yet but there’s always a first time and it would be nice to think it would be Friday night. The players are champing at the bit to get started.
“It will be difficult, with the quality of their players, their fan base and the money that they can spend, but that’s the Premier League.”
Teams aren’t at their best when the season starts, and with Arsenal missing so many key figures in their lineup it may be difficult to stop Jamie Vardy and Co. in the Leicester attack. We’ll pick the upset here to start the PL season off right. Arsenal 1-2 Leicester