After failing to start from where they left it last season as they were humbled 2-1 away to newly promoted Hull City in the Premier League opener. Leicester face another uphill task as the Claudio Ranieri-led side welcome Arsenal-a team they have not beaten in 19 meets
Reigning champions Leicester City and contending squad Arsenal will both try to redeem themselves from their respective opening game defeats as they face each other at the King Power Stadium today.
Leicester City, who became English top flight champions for the first time last season, were stunned by an undermanned newly-promoted team Hull City, 1-2, last Saturday during their season-opener at the KC Stadium.
Hull City played with only 13 seniors, with the starting eleven never substituted throughout the game, but the Foxes could still not blow them off their own home field.
Norwegian forward Adama Diomande netted the opening goal for the hosts at the first half injury time, but Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez quickly answered with his own two minutes after the restart to level the count.
However, Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass broke the deadlock after ten minutes to give back the lead to the Tigers and head coach Claudio Ranieri’s boys were not able to score another goal for the rest of the match.
Meanwhile, Arsenal is coming off a hard-fought 3-4 defeat to fellow contender Liverpool FC at their home ground of Emirates Stadium last Sunday.
Arsenal drew first blood with a goal from striker Theo Walcott at the 31st minute, but four straight goals from the Reds, courtesy of a brace from Philippe Coutinho at the 45th+1 and 56th and one each from Adam Lallana and Sadio Mané at the 49th and 63rd respectively, completely wiped them out of their game.
The Gunners were able to score two more goals, with midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Calum Chambers both netting one at the 64th and 75th minutes, to cut the lead to only one point, but it was the closest the team would come against the visitors.
Head coach Arsene Wenger admitted after the match that Arsenal is currently lacking in “experience and stability” with most of his veteran starters, such as Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Mesut Özil, and Per Mertesacker, sidelined with various injuries.
They will face an uphill battle against the Foxes, who are eager to snatch their first win of the term at their home field this week.
Leicester would be buoyed by Riyad Mahrez, who just signed a new four-year contract to end speculation about his immediate future.
“Leicester City Football Club is delighted to announce that Riyad Mahrez has signed a new contract, committing his future to the Foxes until June, 2020,” said a statement issued by the Midlands club on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will attempt to make it back-to-back Premier League wins at the start of the 2016-17 campaign when they travel to newly-promoted Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds recorded an impressive 4-3 victory at Arsenal last weekend, but it was a disappointing start for Burnley as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City on their return to the top flight
Burnley were, by some distance, the best team in the Championship last season, only losing five of their 46 matches to finish top of the division and earn the right to compete in the Premier League once again.
The Clarets have never managed to consolidate in England’s top flight, however, and that will once again be the challenge for Sean Dyche and his players this season.
The Clarets actually played pretty well against Swansea in their Premier League opener last weekend, but an 82nd-minute effort from Leroy Fer saw the Welsh outfit claim all the points at Turf Moor. It is still very early in the campaign, but Dyche will be wary of suffering back-to-back home defeats at this stage.
Meanwhile, with no European football this season and a squad that has been boosted in this summer’s transfer window, there is a general feeling that Jurgen Klopp could oversee a strong Premier League campaign for Liverpool.
The Reds might have reached the final of the League Cup and Europa League last season, but they finished eighth in the Premier League after losing 10 of their 38 matches and drawing 12 times in the process. The board will expect improvement this term and the Merseyside club made a strong start to the campaign last weekend.
It should have been more comfortable against Arsenal after racing into a 4-1 lead just past the hour at the Emirates, but the home side responded with goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers to set up a nervy final 15 minutes. In the end, Liverpool held on to win 4-3 and start their Premier League season with all three points.
Burnley have never scored a Premier League goal against Liverpool, losing all four of their previous encounters.
Indeed, of the Premier League clubs that Burnley have faced four times, Liverpool are the only side to defeat them each time. The Reds are also just one of two Premier League clubs – the other being Swansea City – to have prevented the Clarets from scoring during their clashes in England’s top flight.
Burnley will have learned from some of their mistakes against Swansea last weekend, but it is difficult to back them upsetting a Liverpool team that will dominate most of the possession. We believe that Burnley have a goal in them, but expect Liverpool to make it two wins from two games at the start of the new campaign.