After an impressive 2-0 away victory against Crystal Palace to kick off the new season, Arsenal will look to continue their winning ways when they host Leicester City on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners erased any memory of their three consecutive defeats to open last season when a first-half header from Gabriel Martinelli put them ahead early. The strike, combined with a late Marc Guehi own goal, gave Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta the start he was hoping for.
Leicester also held a two-goal advantage on the opening weekend, but the Foxes were pegged back twice by Brentford and were ultimately forced to settle for a disappointing point at the King Power Stadium.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s low, long-range strike doubled Leicester’s lead after Timothy Castagne opened the scoring. However, the Bees bounced back with a pair of classy goals from Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva to level the proceedings.
Arsenal vs Leicester City Odds
3-Way Handicap: Arsenal -200 | Leicester City +525 | Draw +333
Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (-145) / Under 2.5 (+105)
Both Teams to Score: Yes (-120) / No (-115)
Arsenal vs. Leicester City odds are current as of Sunday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. EST on BetMGM Sportsbook.
The Gunners are sizable favorites to win their first home match of the season, which makes sense given the two clubs’ performances and results on the opening weekend.
Arsenal has won their last three EPL meetings against Leicester, with each of those victories coming by a two-goal margin. However, the Foxes have taken all three points at the Emirates as recently as October 2020, so this game is not as uneven as the odds may make it seem.
Arsenal vs Leicester City Betting Tips
Fofana, Saliba will determine Over/Under Bet
Two of the Premier League’s most talented, young center backs will go toe to toe in this one as Arsenal’s William Saliba will line up opposite his former Saint Etienne CB partner Wesley Fofana for the first time.
The pair of 21-year-old Frenchmen were standouts in Week 1, with Saliba earning Man of the Match honors for Arsenal in his EPL debut. Two days later, Fofana, a rumored Chelsea transfer target, made five interceptions, two clearances and was the top performer in Leicester’s back three.
Assuming that Fofana is in the Leicester lineup on Saturday at the Emirates and not trying to push through a move to west London, these two players will play a key role in deciding the match and the Over/Under.
Tielemans’ “Arsenal Audition” could sway the score
While Leicester have claimed that Fofana is not for sale, there have been plenty of rumors as to the future of Youri Tielemans. The 25-year-old Belgian is heading into the final season of his contract, so the expectation is that the club would be willing to part ways with the influential midfielder this summer.
Arsenal has been amongst the clubs reportedly interested in Tielemans’ services, as he would provide competition and cover for the established duo of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka. Tielemans looked to be in midseason form in Leicester’s season opener, completing 90% of his passes and striking the post with a long-range shot that unluckily stayed out.
It would not be surprising to see the Belgian make an impact in this game, especially since he seems to have a knack for popping up on the scoresheet against the Gunners.
Who scores first will dictate the result
While this rings true in most matches, it is especially telling about Arsenal.
The Gunners played 45 games in all competitions last season and posted a 25-1-3 record when scoring first. In the 13 instances the opposition opened the scoring, Arsenal won just once and lost the other 12. (If you are wondering where the other games went, there were a few 0-0 draws mixed in.)
After the offseason additions of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko and the re-introduction of Saliba, this Arsenal team looks improved and a bit more composed than teams of years past. Still, this group has not faced that adversity yet, and going down to a goal from the likes of Jamie Vardy would be an interesting test of this group’s mettle.
Whether that test will come this week remains to be seen.
Arsenal vs Leicester City Prediction
Arsenal 3, Leicester City 1
I was impressed with Arsenal’s Week 1 performance, especially in the first 20 minutes when they dictated the play against Palace. At home, the Gunners should have control of this match for long periods, but they will have to be wary of Leicester’s ability on the counter.
Daniel Amartey looked to be a bit of a liability at the back for Leicester in the opener, so it will be interesting to see how manager Brendan Rodgers adjusts. Meanwhile, I am expecting Gabriel Jesus, who was lively in his Arsenal EPL debut, to open his goalscoring account in this one.
Arsenal have looked like a different team throughout the preseason, and last weekend’s win will give the squad confidence moving forward. Expect another strong performance here.
Arsenal vs Leicester City Best Bets
➕ Arsenal Moneyline (-200) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
Arsenal won 13 of their 19 home matches last season, including a 2-0 victory over Leicester in March. They generally won the games that they were expected to, only once losing at home to a team that finished below them in the table (Brighton).
After last week’s performance, the crowd at the Emirates should fully be behind the home side, something that has not always been the case in recent years. This squad, which could be boosted by the returns of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith Rowe, is deep, talented, and looks like a collective unit after a strong summer.
The Gunners should continue to build on a strong start to the season.
➕ Over 2.5 Goals (-145) at BetMGM
WAGER: 0.5 Units
Five of the last six EPL meetings between these two sides have had two or fewer goals, which is surprising given the quality of attacking talent on display.
We have talked a lot about the impressive young center backs on both teams and Arsenal’s resolute performance against Palace, however, the Gunners could easily have conceded if not for two heroic one-on-one saves from Aaron Ramsdale.
Leicester are capable of scoring, and Arsenal should be able to create plenty of chances on their home patch.
Click to bet on this prop at BetMGM.
➕ Exact Score: 3-1 Arsenal (+1050) at BetMGM
WAGER: 0.5 Units
I wavered between 3-1 and 2-0 because I am not exactly sure which Arsenal we will get. Defensive stability has, rightfully, been a focus of Mikel Arteta, and he will want to avoid this game getting too stretched.
On the other end, the Gunners created enough gilt-edged chances to score at least two early goals against Palace and were undone by a lack of clinical finishing.
Since I think Leicester will score, this longshot bet is worth a shot.