SteemSports Presenter: @timoshey
SteemSports Editor/Writer: @writingamigo
Friday, August 11
Emirates Stadium, London
The first match of the 2017-18 season of the English Premier League will see Arsenal take on Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Friday. Both teams will be looking to start the new season with a win as this will help build confidence around the team for the upcoming fixtures.
The Premier League season will kick off on a Friday night for the first time ever. Friday-night matches were introduced last season, but this will be the first campaign-opener not to be played on a Saturday afternoon.
Arsenal, fresh off from winning the Community Shield, a match which saw them defeat defending EPL Champions; Chelsea will be in high spirit come Friday night when they take on Leicester City at their home ground-Emirates Stadium.
In recent years, Arsenal has been lucky to get the first match of the season played in front of their home fans, but at the end of the day, they fail to come out with a win to show for the favorable draw.
In the 2016/17 season, Arsenal played their first game of the season against Liverpool at the Emirates - the game ended 3-4 in favor of Liverpool
In the 2015/16 season, Arsenal played their first game of the season against West Ham United at the Emirates - the game ended 0-2 in favor of West Ham.
In the 2014/15 season, Arsenal played their first game of the season against Crystal Palace at the Emirates - the game ended 2-1 in favor of Arsenal. Crystal Palace ended the game with 10-men.
In the 2013/14 season, Arsenal played their first game of the season against Aston Villa at the Emirates - the game ended 1-3 in favor of Aston Villa.
In the 2012/13 season, Arsenal played their first game of the season against Sunderland at the Emirates, the game ended in a goalless draw 0-0.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal can put an end to this woeful start to a season and try to get their season on a winning run. This, as I said earlier, will really go a long way in boosting confidence among the players who will be transferred to subsequent games. Also, because Arsenal will play both Liverpool and Chelsea (two big games) within their first 6 matches, there’s the need to start well, so the confidence to get maximum points in these games will be there when the day finally comes.
Arsenal has tried this season to carry out their transfer business early in the transfer window. They signed up Saed Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke 04 and also got Lyon’s ace forward Alexandre Lacazette for a reported £46.5 million plus add-ons. Several reports still link the club with Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and Nice’s Jean Michael Ceri.
Arsenal’s Possible Line-up
Cech; Holding, Monreal, Kolasinac; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Ozil, Iwobi; Lacazette.
After a remarkable title winning season two years ago, Leicester city have found it very difficult to replicate the form that saw them lift the title in the 2015/16 season. The sale of Ngolo Kante to Chelsea last season left them with a big hole in the team, a hole they are yet to fill up. Kante helped Chelsea secure the title last season, providing a solid cover for the defense and he really thrived in Conte’s 3-4-3 formation. Leicester will be playing their fourth straight season in the top flight, and they will be hoping to better their 12th place finish last season by starting this new season with a win, though it’s going to be a very difficult away game for them.
Leicester did not really have an impressive result in their pre-season games, they won just 3 out of 7 games, drawing 1.
They played out a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion but eventually won 7-6 on penalties
They lost 1-2 to Liverpool
Won 1-0 against Luton Town,
Drew 0-0 with Milton Keynes Dons
Lost 1-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers,
Lost 2-1 to Burton Albion
Won their last game 2-1 against Borussia M’gladbach.
Leicester have been able to secure the services of 5 new players. They got George Thomas on a free transfer from Coventry City; they signed up goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic from Hull City for £2.07m, Harry Maguire also from Hull City for £12.33m, Vincente Iborra from Sevilla for £13.50m and also secured the services of former Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho for £24.93m. But unfortunately, Iheanacho picked up an injury during Leicester’s win against Borussia M’gladbach.
Leicester Possible Line-up
Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs; Albrighton, Iborra, Ndidi, Mahrez; Vardy, Okazaki.