Arsenal will be aiming to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table as they head north to take on Leicester City
After a long seven days away, it is finally matchday once again for Arsenal!
The Gunners will be aiming to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table as they head north to take on Leicester City. Mikel Arteta faces a number of tough decisions in his squad today after Gabriel Martinelli scored off the bench last weekend with Thomas Partey also pushing for a recall to the matchday squad.
Transfer news is relatively quiet in north London at the moment, however sorting the futures of players currently at the club is high on the agenda. Gabriel Martinelli recently penned a new deal with Bukayo Saka likely to follow leaving William Saliba as the final major star in talks to agree an extension, although Arteta dropped a hint regarding the Frenchman extending his stay on Friday.
So, with that being said, stay with us on the football.london Arsenal blog as we bring you the all latest transfer gossip, team news and injury updates LIVE from the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal were yet again at the centre of another controversial VAR call on Saturday after Leandro Trossard’s goal versus Leicester City was ruled out.
The Belgian thought he had repaid the Gunners boss’ faith in the 26th minute when he arrowed a splendid effort into the top corner after picking up Granit Xhaka’s pass inside the Leicester box. However, after a VAR check, Craig Pawson ruled out the goal after being ordered to review the goal on the pitchside screen.
Replays showed that Ben White had fouled goalkeeper Danny Ward from the initial corner. The defender’s foul stopped the Wales international from collecting the ball before Trossard slammed the ball home.
The Premier League explained the decision to disallow the goal on Twitter by writing: “Leandro Trossard has the ball in the net for Arsenal, but after consulting VAR, referee Craig Pawson has overturned the goal because of sustained holding from Ben White on Danny Ward in the build-up.”
Arsenal stretched their lead at the top of the table to five points on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Leicester City.
Gabriel Martinelli’s second half goal was the difference in the Midlands. Here are our player ratings.
Follow all the latest news and updates from Leicester City vs Arsenal HERE.
Arsenal were drawn against Sporting CP in the last-16 of the Europa League, avoiding the likes of Juventus and Sevilla. The Gunners will play the 19-times Portuguese champions in March during a 23-day period of seven matches.
Sporting CP knocked out Danish side Midtjylland in the knockout play-off round only to draw potential tournament favourites Arsenal. It was not the opponent they would have hoped to play at this stage having already been relegated from a Champions League group that included the Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham.
To get a grasp on how Sporting might be feeling after the draw football.london spoke to Lisbon-based Portuguese football expert and Sporting supporter Jose Miguel. Jose provided insight on a number of topics including the return of Hector Bellerin, the threats Arsenal will face like Marcus Edwards and Pedro Goncalves plus where the tactical weaknesses of the Gunners’ opponents can be found.
Read the full story here
Leandro Trossard starts. Eddie Nketiah and Thomas Partey on the bench.
Oleksandr Zinchenko captains the Gunners.
Albert Sambi Lokonga and Arsenal will each be hoping for successful 2022/23 seasons with the Gunners chasing the Premier League title and Lokonga seeking regular first-team minutes. The Belgian midfielder sealed a deadline day loan to Crystal Palace after struggling to make a significant impact in his first 18 months at Emirates Stadium.
Lokonga has made three appearances for the Eagles since the deal was completed and while looking bright, Palace are without a win in those games. Despite a challenging spell in England, Lokonga has remained defiant with the midfielder revealing what Arteta said to him before his departure and the coaching similarities between the two former Arsenal legends he has now played under.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the King Power Stadium, Saliba has vowed to get back to his best form and urged his teammates to avoid looking at what their title rivals are doing. The French defender said: “We [Arsenal] are focused.
“We still have 15 games left. We know we have the same objective in our head. We have to work, not focus on other things and focus on ourselves.
“It’s the best league in the world. There is no excuse, if I’m bad, I’m bad, I don’t have to say it’s my first season in the Premier League but I will be back on my best soon.”
Saliba went on to discuss his friendship with defensive partner Gabriel Magalhaes which has been one of the key areas of improvement in Arteta’s team this season, highlighting the Brazilian’s leadership traits. The 21-year-old added: “Of course, we are friends.
“We are happy play together. He speaks French as well so that’s easy.
“I love to play with him. A really good player and good leader as well.”
Arsenal have finally learned their fate for the round of 16 in the Europa League, having been drawn against Portuguese side Sporting CP on Friday. It comes months after the Gunners managed to win their group, making sure they avoided playing an extra game in a playoff round.
That gave the Gunners some much-needed respite, making sure they didn’t add to an already busy schedule by fielding strong lineups in the group. There will also be hope that now they’ve made it this far, they can go all the way in the competition and finally bring home a European trophy.
“This competition is getting harder and harder and I think how it looks today and what the possibilities are it looks like the next round is going to be extremely competitive,” Mikel Arteta said last year on his side’s progression. “That’s why finishing first in the group and avoiding another two games is such an important thing for us.”
Arsenal were dealt a favourable Europa League last-16 draw on Friday as they discovered Sporting CP will be their opponents.
Despite European knockout round matches taking place this week, the Gunners, after finishing top of their group, were not in action as the new format includes a play-off round contested by teams finishing third in a Champions League group against the runners-up from all eight Europa League groups.
ust under two years ago, Sporting won the Primera Liga, however two hugely influential players left in the following summer after they failed to retain their crown. Joao Palhinha and Mathues Nunes were the departing duo with both heading for the Premier League to sign for Fulham and Wolves, respectively.
Sporting also suffered a major loss in the January transfer window with Tottenham acquiring Pedro Porro on deadline day on loan with an obligation to buy for £45million . With Arsenal now facing Sporting without Porro, who was a hugely influential player for their back five system, Spurs have indirectly helped their North London rivals’ chances of progression greatly.
Arsenal star Nuno Tavares has issued a clear transfer message to Mikel Arteta ahead of a return to the Emirates Stadium this summer. Tavares is currently enjoying a successful loan spell with Marseille in Ligue 1, scoring six goals in 20 appearances for the French outfit.
The Portuguese left-back endured a shaky debut season after signing for the Gunners from Benfica in 2021. Given Kieran Tierney’s injury problems and Tavares’ indifferent form, Arteta was left with a headache regarding the left side of his defence.
Despite enjoying more success in France, Tavares played down speculation of staying in Marseille in a recent interview. The Arsenal loanee said: “Everyone knows that I still have two years left with Arsenal on my contract.
“We’ll finish the season. I’m here until the end of the season to reach our objectives with Marseille, I can’t tell you much more.”
The Portuguese defender admitted that he ‘feels good’ in Marseille and gets along with his new teammates, but insisted he won’t be staying put. Tavares added: “At the end of the season, I will return to Arsenal, I can’t say much more.”
There seems to be something special in the water at London Colney when it comes to Arsenal producing exciting attackers.
Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe have all enjoyed significant success in north London after graduating from the club’s academy, and the plan for the next starlet preparing to graduate out of Hale End with the aim of impacting the senior team seems to be in motion.
Amario Cozier-Duberry is a name not many outside of an Arsenal bubble would have heard of, but his current trajectory likely means it won’t be long before he is a household name. The 17-year-old has been called up to senior training on multiple occasions by Mikel Arteta and he clearly justified exactly why with a spell-binding performance in the under-18 Youth FA Cup on Thursday evening.
Jorginho has posted a matchday graphic on his Instagram story hinting that he could start against the Foxes this afternoon. Given the fact Partey has not taken part in first team training this week, it makes sense that Arteta would not risk the Ghana international with so many crucial games still to come.
The Gunners boss provided an update on Partey’s fitness in his pre-Leicester press conference on Friday morning. Arteta said: “The question mark on Thomas, he hasn’t trained much but looks like he could be available.
“Let’s see how he goes today. We’ve missed him in the past few games and hopefully he’ll be back.”
Arsenal have been handed a difficult draw in the Europa League round of 16 but history shows it may not be as bad as first feared.
The Gunners will face Portuguese side Sporting CP away from home in the first leg, before returning for the second leg at the Emirates Stadium.
The north Londoners advanced straight into the round of 16 stage after winning Group A ahead of PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich prior to the World Cup.
Arsenal are now only involved in the Europa League and Premier League, but have a good chance of winning both titles this season.
Mikel Arteta’s side sit two points clear of Manchester City in the title race but face a slightly congested fixture list in March with the return of European action.
Arsenal’s rivals Manchester United also progressed into the round of 16 of the Europa League and should both teams qualify for the quarter-finals, it could set up an all English affair later in the competition.
Chris Sutton has agreed with Merson that Arsenal will win the game but in a more convincing fashion than the 4-2 victory against Aston Villa last weekend. Sutton told BBC Sport: “Leicester are in a relegation scrap, which is hard to understand when you consider the attacking talent they have got.
“The Foxes’ issue is that they are so brittle at the back, which is why I think there will be goals in this game and also why I am going to back Arsenal to win it. I want to see a title race and I loved the way the Gunners found a way of getting the three points against Villa last week after trailing twice.
“They really showed their mettle, and it must have been a huge boost to their confidence. Now they have to back it up with another win here, but I do feel their trip to King Power Stadium will be more straightforward. They will have plenty of chances, because their forwards will be able to get at the Foxes’ backline.”
Partey’s return could see Arteta change his team around giving him a slight selection headache. The Spaniard has revealed how well Fabio Vieira has been training and is considering handing him a rare start in midfield, whilst January signings Jorginho and Leandro Trossard are also pushing to start against Leicester.
The Arsenal Twitter account has hinted at a possible piece of team news as the Gunners look to move five points clear at the top of the table before City play Bournemouth this evening. Gabriel Martinelli ended his goal drought with a strike against Villa, but Trossard could be drafted back into the side after starting the last match.
The Belgian forward scored his first goal for the club against Brentford after completing a £27million switch from Brighton in January. Trossard has taken a few weeks to settle into his new surroundings but has shown promising signs of being an important player for Arteta heading towards the end of the season.
Arsenal have learnt how much they have been fined by the FA after their Premier League title clash against Manchester City descended into chaos on multiple occasions. On February 17, the FA released a statement detailing that three instances from the match were being investigated for breaching rules and regulations.
Both clubs did not appeal against the charges, with the FA confirming the price of their fines in another statement on Friday. The statememt read: “Arsenal have been fined £65,000 after the club admitted that it failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 56th minute of the fixture.
As a consequence, an independent Appeal Board has imposed an additional fine of £20,000, which had been suspended from an earlier determination relating to the club’s breach in their game against Oxford United on 9 January.
Despite City committing more offences in the game, the fines from the FA do not add up. Arsenal fans have raised this point clearly on social media with more criticism aimed at the FA.
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes the Gunners will be caused problems by the Foxes but still expects the Premier League leaders to win. Merson told SportsKeeda: “Arsenal will win this game.
“I thought Leicester City were unlucky the other day against Manchester United. They could have been 2-0 up before Manchester United started scoring.
“Leicester will cause problems for Arsenal this weekend. If they hadn’t missed a couple of big chances and De Gea didn’t make those massive saves, Leicester could have got a result at Old Trafford last Sunday.
“Meanwhile, this could be a defining game for Arsenal. Manchester City, I think, will definitely beat Bournemouth.
“If Arsenal win here and then beat Everton in midweek, which is their game in hand, they will go five points clear at the top again. Arsenal have a relatively easy set of fixtures coming up and if City falter in any of these upcoming game weeks, the Gunners could well be on their way to winning the title.
“Arsenal are the team to watch right now. Arteta’s side seems to get a little nervous on occasion and they’re a bit caught in between wanting to be defensively solid and going all-out in attack.
“They should ideally score the first goal and if they do that, they’ll play their best football for the rest of the game. But they haven’t been doing that much in recent games and that’s what has led to them being shaky at the back because the nerves are starting to show. I expect Arsenal to come out on top in an entertaining game.”
William Saliba has admitted he hopes to bring back Arsenal back to the very top of the footballing world by winning several trophies starting with the Premier League this season.
In the last decade, the Gunners have fallen away from the dominant pack in England that constantly chase domestic and European success, despite four FA Cups being won by the club since 2014.
A fifth one will not follow this year though after Mikel Arteta’s men were knocked out in the fourth round by Manchester City, but the Gunners have other, more pressing, priorities this season.
After a blistering start to the campaign, Arsenal firmly established themselves as being in the Premier League title picture shooting to the top of the league and with just one fixture left to play in February, they are still leading the race.
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has sent a Premier League title warning to Mikel Arteta and Arsenal ahead of the two teams meeting on Saturday. The Gunners sit two points clear at the top of the table and can stretch that gap to five by beating Leicester with Manchester City in action against Bournemouth later in the day.
The Foxes had been in impressive form prior to their defeat against Manchester United, scoring four goals in victories against Aston Villa and Tottenham to ease their relegation concerns.
But that defeat to United means just four points now separate Leicester from the bottom three and they will be hoping to make a late charge for a European place starting on Saturday against the league leaders.
Fabio Vieira has spoken about his great relationship with Arsenal teammate Gabriel Martinelli.
“Now I can feel at home”, Vieira told Arsenal’s official website. “My teammates have helped me a lot. I remember Cedric, Gabi Martinelli and (Gabriel) Jesus spoke the same language which made things easy to talk to them, and they explained everything to me so they were very important,”
“I didn’t know Gabi Martinelli before I came here, but after that we started to have a good friendship. He’s a good person with a good heart, and we felt a connection between us from the beginning.”
Arsenal travel to the King Power Stadium this afternoon as they face Leicester City in the Premier League. The Gunners are two points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table and will hope another win can put pressure on Pep Guardiola’s side, with City set to face Bournemouth this evening.
The Gunners left it late to return to winning ways against Aston Villa last weekend with two injury time goals after Emiliano Martinez’s own goal and Gabriel Martinelli’s strike sealing the victory with seconds to spare at Villa Park. City dropped points against Nottingham Forest, seeing the north Londoners return to the Premier League summit.
It was a welcome boost for Mikel Arteta and his players after going without a win in their three previous fixtures prior to facing Villa. Arsenal will now hope they can kick on and put together a run of results with Europa League action set to return in a couple of weeks time.
Arteta provided a positive update on Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus ahead of the game against the Foxes, with the former potentially available for selection once again. football.london takes a look at the three ways Arsenal can line up against Leicester this afternoon.
Arsenal must continue their recovery from a dip in form which saw them fall perilously close to losing their advantage over Manchester City. A resolute and fortunate Nottingham Forest side stole two points from Pep Guardiola whilst Mikel Arteta oversaw a dramatic late comeback against Aston Villa.
Up next for the Gunners is the trip to the east midlands to face Leicester City. Arsenal have won their last three visits to Brendan Rodgers’ side but the Foxes looked to have had an upturn in form themselves prior to the defeat to Manchester United.
Arsenal are close to being back to full strength with hope Thomas Partey might be ready to travel and Gabriel Jesus’ return also nearing. Mikel Arteta has a big decision to make ahead of a period where his side will play seven games in just 23 days.
Luckily, football.london’s Arsenal writers Tom Canton and Kaya Kaynak are on hand to offer their assistance to the Spanish tactician with regard to the big decision in attack. Below, they name their respective starting line-ups for the visitors to the King Power Stadium.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has urged the club to continue tying down their best players to long-term deals to protect potential future success at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are currently top of the Premier League table by two points after beating Aston Villa last weekend, with Manchester City drawing against Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal are preparing to take on Leicester City in a difficult test this weekend, but Arteta has provided positive updates on both Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus.
The former has not featured in the last two games, whilst the latter has been absent since the Premier League resumed on Boxing Day.
Bukayo Saka has told the club that he wants to stay as the Gunners close in on securing their star player to a new contract, football.london understands.
One of the next priorities at the club is thought to be securing William Saliba’s long-term future after a spectacular first season at the Emirates Stadium after spending the last three campaigns out on loan.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided a fresh update on Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus ahead of the Premier League clash against Leicester City this weekend.
The Gunners head into the fixture at the top of the table, leading Manchester City by two points.
Arteta has not been able to select Partey for the last two fixtures against City and Aston Villa due to the midfielder suffering a muscle injury earlier last week.
Jesus has not played for Arsenal since the Premier League resumed following the World Cup after sustaining a knee injury whilst away with Brazil in Qatar.