Arsenal will welcome Leeds United to the Emirates Stadium for today’s Premier League clash. The Gunners are currently on a three-match winless streak which has included back-to-back losses to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa.
Owing to this, they have failed to reduce the gap to the Champions League places, but they have another opportunity to cut the nine-point deficit to fourth-placed Liverpool, who were on the losing side at Leicester City yesterday.
Mikel Arteta’s team are currently 11th on the table with 31 points, one point and one position behind Leeds, who have a game in hand. They have the opportunity to return to winning ways and find some momentum ahead of the Europa League round of 32 first leg against Benfica.
The Gunners are unbeaten in eight meetings against Leeds in all competitions with six wins and two draws. Their last defeat came during the backend of the 2002/03 top-flight season.
Since their promotion this term, Leeds have failed to score in just three of their 22 matches. One of those was the goalless draw against the Gunners at Elland Road in November 2020.
Nicolas Pepe was sent off early in the second half. The Gunners were fortuitous to pick up a point after the Whites hit the woodwork on as many as four occasions.
Pepe is still an outstanding talent and worth backing. If you like fantasy football or betting (or both), he’s an undervalued talent on Football Index and might just spring a surprise this Sunday with a stellar performance.
Of course, if you are unfamiliar with Football Index, you can read more about how to play Football Index. And here’s another interesting stat for you if you are looking to bet on this game: Arsenal have not lost to a newly-promoted team for almost a decade now.
Arteta’s side are unbeaten in the last five matches in all competitions at home and they have kept four clean sheets. However, two of those games have ended in goalless stalemates.
The Gunners will have the services of Bernd Leno and David Luiz after they served their one-match suspensions. Kieran Tierney, however, remains sidelined with a lower leg injury while Thomas Partey is out with a hamstring problem.
Leeds have a lengthier injury list. Diego Llorente (muscular), Gaetano Berardi (knee), Rodrigo (groin), Adam Forshaw (unknown), Ian Poveda-Ocampo (foot), Robin Kock (knee surgery) and Pablo Hernandez (unknown) have been ruled out for the game. Kalvin Phillips’ involvement may depend on a late fitness test.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Cedric Soares; Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos; Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Nicolas Pepe; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Leeds (4-1-4-1): Illan Meslier; Jamie Shackleton, Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Ezgjan Alioski; Pascal Struijk; Raphinha, Stuart Dallas, Mateusz Klich, Jack Harrison; Patrick Bamford
Arsenal need to desperately return to winning ways and Leeds could be an ideal opposition for them. While Bielsa’s side are impressive in the attack, they do tend to get exploited at the back with their style of play. It should be a open game and we are backing the Gunners to prevail with the three points.
Arsenal 2-1 Leeds United
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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