Arsenal and Leicester City kick off the 2017-18 Premier League season on Friday night at the Emirates.
More pressure is on Arsene Wenger than ever this season after signing a new two-year contract over the summer and vowing to challenge for the title.
The Gunners have brought in record signing Alexandre Lacazette whilst Leicester have thrown their money around with the signings of Kelechi Iheanacho (£25m), Harry Maguire (£17m) and Vicente Iborra (£15m).
Arsenal have a number of absentees going into their season opener – Laurent Koscielny is suspended, Gabriel Paulista is injured and Per Mertesacker is a slight doubt in defence. This means Wenger may have to start summer free transfer Sead Kolasinac as part of his back three with Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal his only other options. In midfield, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are both sidelined and both Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are doubts. Whilst Alexandre Lacazette is expected to start up top, Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out.
Leicester don’t have so many worries – Robert Huth is absent but Harry Maguire can slot in alongside Wes Morgan at the back. Maguire was pretty reliable for Hull last season even though they were relegated.
I firmly believe Arsenal have too much going forward for Leicester. Lacazette is quick, a good finisher and makes great runs off the back of the defence. His movement is also excellent which should cause Wes Morgan endless problems.
Leicester should have some success going forward too as the Arsenal defence has a number of casualties but I don’t expect them to see too much of the ball in the Arsenal final third as the hosts should take the game to the Foxes.
Arsenal’s odds are a lot higher than they would have been with Sanchez and Koscielny available. They held champions Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in last weekend’s Community Shield so already have some match fitness under their belt.