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The 2017/18 Premier League season kicks off at the Emirates, where Arsenal host Leicester City.
After months of speculation, fan protests and increased uncertainty Arsene Wenger’s future was decided, he had unfinished business and a two year deal was signed. That’s despite heading into the new campaign without the prospect of Champions League football, a first during his 21 year (and counting) tenure.
This season the battle for a top four finish looks to be greater than ever with the usual candidates splashing the cash. City, Chelsea and Manchester United have all made marquee signings, but so too have the Gunners. Smashing their transfer record fee for France striker Alexandre Lacazette, Arsene Wenger has a born goalscorer.
But it’s Alexis Sanchez who Arsenal fans will be sweating over. Having failed to agree a new contact and just 12 months remaining on his current deal the Chile international looks set for the Emirates exit door, whether that’s this summer or in twelve months time we’ll have
to wait and see.
Sanchez missed Arsenal’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea through illness and looks set to miss the curtain raiser with an abdominal injury. Make of that what you will. Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsay are also doubts.
As for the Foxes they head into the new season with similar problems of their own. The uncertainty surrounding Riyad Mharez, who played a pivotal role in their Premier League winning season, looks set to continue. The winger had expressed his desire to leave the club earlier in the summer but Leicester and Craig Shakespeare are determined to stick to their guns.
They’ve a new striker too in Kelechi Iheanacho. The 20 year old joined the Foxes from Manchester City earlier in the transfer window for a deal believed to be worth about £25million. He’s expected to start alongside Jamie Vardy up top.
Craig Shakespeare will be without injured duo Vicente Iborra and Dranny Drinkwater.
Both teams suffered opening day defeats 12 months ago and will be keen to start the season with a win.
Arsenal haven’t lost to Leicester in the league since 1994 and I fully expect that trend to continue on Friday night.
With two new strikers on show I fancy both teams to score Arsenal win at 2/1.