By Reece Dixon
It feels like we’ve waited an age, but finally, a new Premier League season is upon us.
First up for the Gunners is 2016 Premier League champions Leicester, who last season were a shadow of their title winning side.
Aaron Ramsey has been training this week and the Welshman is in contention to face Craig Shakespeare’s side. Though Mesut Ozil is a doubt, he’s still recovering from an ankle problem and Alexis Sanchez is ruled out with an abdominal strain. Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are still a few weeks away.
Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker sported a cut over the eye this week after his collision with Gary Cahill in Sunday’s Community Shield win, but it is not expected to rule him out.
As for the visitors, the Foxes will be without Danny Drinkwater, Robert Huth and new signing Vicente Iborra.
Summer signings Harry Mcguire and Kelechi Iheanacho are both expected to make their Leicester City debuts.
The two sides shared the spoils in a goalless stalemate at the Kingpower last August. A disappointing spectacle did see Leicester have a stone wall penalty turned down by referee Mark Clattenburg.
Arsenal boast a remarkable home record record against the Foxes, having won all of their previous 10 at home – that includes April’s 1-0 victory which saw Robert Huth’s late own goal settle the tie.
PREDICTED ARSENAL XL
Wenger is expected to continue to adopt the 3-4-3 formation this season. Last weekend, the Frenchman utilised Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a left-wing-back against Chelsea and The Ox once again proved his versatility with a superb performance.
Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac are expected to make their league debuts. Meanwhile Alex Iwobi will likely get another opportunity to impress in Sanchez’s absence.
Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Elneny, Xhaka; Welbeck, Iwobi, Lacazette.
It’s vitally important the Gunners do not fall behind the leaders early if we want to compete this season.
Both teams will be eager to kick off the campaign on a high, but Arsenal’s superiority and home advantage should see nothing less than three points for the North Londoners.
It will be double delight if Lacazette can get on the scoresheet.
Prediction: 2-0 Arsenal
Thoughts, Gooners? Let us know your line-ups and pre-match opinion in the comments…