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Granit Xhaka reacted angrily to the Arsenal fans when he was substituted against Crystal Palace

TEAM NEWS

Unai Emery says Granit Xhaka is not ready to return to the Arsenal side for Saturday's game against Leicester.

Xhaka has not played since an angry confrontation with home fans during the Gunners' 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on 27 October.

The incident led to him being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.

“I spoke with him on Tuesday to see how he is feeling now and his mind because he is training well, but he said to me he can't play,” said Emery.

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Fellow midfielder Dani Ceballos will also be absent for Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge.

The 23-year-old injured his left hamstring during Wednesday's Europa League tie against Vitoria and could miss Spain's Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has a near fully-fit squad at his disposal for Saturday's game.

The only absentee is Matty James, who has begun light training as he steps up his comeback from Achilles surgery.

MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

@SteveBowercomm: There couldn't be more contrasting moods in the current fortunes of these two teams.

Leicester are brimming with confidence as they look to continue their best start to a top-flight season. They've won eight of their past 11 home games and have the joint best defence in the league.

Arsenal have to try and dent such positivity and discover some of their own. Two league wins from the last nine, four victories in 16 on the road and leads let slip in each of their last four competitive games are making increasingly difficult reading.

Unai Emery reaches 50 Premier League matches in charge on Saturday – whether the Gunners have made progress from the first is certainly up for debate.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers on Jamie Vardy's decision to snub Arsenal in 2016: “He had come off the back of just being champion here, with the worldwide status of that season and the story.

“The one thing I know about Jamie Vardy is he's a team player. It wouldn't have been because of that [wanting to be the main man], that he didn't go to Arsenal.

“There were a number of things: he was probably offered a good deal here, felt comfortable here, stable here with his family.”

LAWRO'S PREDICTION

Arsenal have been pegged back for draws after leading in their past four games in all competitions, which is another sign that they cannot defend.

Leicester are good enough to take advantage of that, and the Foxes are starting to look like a really good side.

Prediction: 2-1

Lawro's full predictions v ‘The Irishman' star Stephen Graham

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Leicester are vying to beat Arsenal in three consecutive top-flight home matches for the first time.
  • The Gunners have lost two of the past three league meetings – more than they had in the previous 30 (W20, D9, L1).

Leicester City

  • The Foxes have won eight of their past 11 league matches at home, losing only once.
  • Three points on Saturday would give them a club record-equalling fifth successive Premier League home victory.
  • Leicester have earned seven wins in nine league games, scoring at least twice in each victory.
  • They have won 12 Premier League fixtures under Brendan Rodgers, a record bettered only by Liverpool and Manchester City since his first game in charge in March.
  • Leicester have the joint-best defensive record this season, level with Sheffield United.
  • Jamie Vardy has scored eight goals in his eight league starts against Arsenal. His tally of 19 Premier League goals in 21 games since Rodgers' arrival is five more than anyone else during that period.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal's tally of 17 points is their joint lowest after 11 matches for seven years.
  • They have won only four of their last 18 Premier League away matches (D5, L9).
  • The Gunners have gone 11 away league games without a win against teams starting the day in the top three since beating Manchester City at the Etihad in January 2015 (D3, L8).
  • Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets in 24 away league fixtures.
  • This will be Unai Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge of Arsenal (W25, D12, L12). None of his previous 49 have ended goalless.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is yet to score a Premier League away goal on a Saturday in seven appearances.




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