Morning folks and ‘Happy Match Day!’ To you and your kin.

Man am I glad this has finally come around. We’ve had to deal with a ridiculously long international break, sit through a weekend of other teams playing, before finally getting our fill from 8pm this evening. And I for one can’t wait.

It’s a visit of Leicester to the Emirates which last season provided one of the games of the season in which ultimately we picked up the points, but not before we twice fell behind, so this evenings game certainly should come with its own health warning. Leicester City are no mugs and they have the tools to do us damage.

What we have to do is make sure that we aren’t naive this evening. Leicester’s gameplay will be one that relies on counter attacking us at pace. They will have Vardy available and ready to add to his six goals in six games tally against us and with a record like that and our propensity to ship goals it’s hard to see us not conceding this evening.

The trick, however, is that i think we will need to get ahead in this game because if we fall behind then Leicester will sit in, look to frustrate and hit us on the counter. They have the players who are rapid like Gray and Maddison who will sit in and if we’re attacking then they’ll look to make the most of turnovers and catch us cold.

So for our players it will be important to keep focus and concentration, both in midfield and defence too, so for me it’s hard not to look at Torreira being tasked with covering ground. I suspect he’ll also be given responsibility in the middle of the park alongside Xhaka but whilst those two are probably most likely to start and we’ll surely be lining up with four at the back, your guess is as good as mine on who plays.

In goal it could be either Cech or Leno but I would guess that Emery will want to keep a winning team so I think Leno will stay in. For that reason I also think we’ll have Monreal, Holding, Mustafi and Bellerin start again as our back line, but how our more attack-minded players are set out will be really interesting.

I’d love to see Auba and Lacazette starting as a front two and I reckon we have a really good chance of seeing that tonight. Both scored a brace in our last outing and both would be deserving of playing from the start. If Emery does that though I do think he’ll want us to play with more width and so I wonder if Ramsey and Özil suffer as a result. We just play too narrow with them in the team and whilst I’d prefer to see Özil start with Lacazette and Aubameyang in front of him, I think Emery will prefer Iwobi and Mkhitaryan and so I suspect that’s who he’ll opt for tonight.

And to be fair they would be there on merit. Mkhi and Iwobi both played well at Fulham and if we’re going to keep going on about the Meritocracy of Unai Emery’s Arsenal, we need to accept that certain ‘favourites’ might sometimes get overlooked.

Whether that is the best formation against Leicester I don’t know. If they’re going to sit deep and be difficult to break down then we need to have players that can unlock the lock. This is the type of game that last season Iwobi would have frustrated in because there probably won’t be a lot of grass for him to run into and so we need players like Özil to see those pockets of space in tight and cramped conditions to find. Leicester aren’t the best at defending through balls which is why they will sit deep and that’s why players like Özil and Lacazette could be vital, but certainly for the German I think there’s a big chance he doesn’t start tonight, as Emery looks to find a way to unpick Puel’s Leicester.

We’ve hardly been scintillating I first halves this season either and so if anybody is expecting anything else other than a potentially frustrating first half for the hone side, I’d wager they haven’t watched Arsenal much this season. We grow in to games and so tonight will be as much about patience and not over committing as it is about individual skill and brilliance in the opposition third of the pitch.

I’m in Amsterdam as I write this mornings blog but a lunchtime flight back to Luton means I’ll be in the ground to watch. I just hope the evening ends as positively as I hope.

Catch you all later.