64 min: Sokratis is booked for a foul on Maddison, 25 yards out. And Michael Oliver gives Unai Emery a stern telling off on the touchline. Maddison, who played that sumptuous ball in for Tielemans, fancies a crack at this free-kick, as does the goalscorer.
GOAL! Leicester City 1-0 Arsenal (Tielemans, 59)
Youri Tielemans glances home a superb Maddison cross. It was a deft header to meet a beautiful ball, zipped into the box at speed, allowing the unmarked Tielemans to nod in. A wonderful goal. “Sign him up” is the inevitable chorus from home supporters.
57 min: Leicester are just beginning to get a little frustrated – they really should have made their one-man advantage pay by now – as Pereira overcooks a routine pass for Albrighton. Nevertheless, back come Leicester, with Maddison picking the ball up centrally.
55 min: A trademark run by Vardy as he nips in at the front post – but cannot convert Albrighton’s cross, with Koscielny poking the ball into the direction of Bernd Leno. Arsenal have kept Lacazette and Aubameyang up as a front two but they seem happy to sit in and soak up wave after wave of Leicester pressure.
52 min: Kolasinac raids forward down the left but has a rush of blood to the head, suddenly driving a poor effort at goal! After a slip, Torreira attempts to keep Arsenal on the move but Leicester get rid. Emery if huffing and puffing on the touchline.
50 min: Tielemans thumps a ball in towards the front post where Vardy is lurking, but Leno rushes out to punch clear. To say this is one-way traffic would be an understatement. Leicester are having it all their own way, picking off Arsenal’s defence.
49 min: Barnes jets down the left, beating Mustafi for pace. He tries to hook an effort goalwards but Leno gathers at the front post.
48 min: Harvey Barnes’s first contribution is to buy a corner out of Sokratis. Maddison swings it in towards Slabhead and co, but Arsenal clear their lines. Arsenal – already – are firmly on the back foot. Barnes then gets some joy up against Mustafi.
47 min: Pereira and Tielemans combine to good effect, with the former doing superbly on the byline. The ball is edged back to just outside the box, where James Maddison attempts to weave his way through. He gets lucky at first, but is eventually crowded.
46 min: A couple of changes at the interval. Leicester seem intent on upping the ante, with Harvey Barnes replacing Wilfred Ndidi. As for Arsenal, on comes Laurent Koscielny in place of Iwobi. Mustafi, who has again looked shaky, shifts along to right-back.
Half-time: Leicester City 0-0 Arsenal
Ten-man Arsenal survive until the interval then, but for how much longer can they repel Leicester? Youri Tielemans, James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi have ran the show for Brendan Rodgers’s side, while Jamie Vardy has been alert up front. Leicester should be ahead but have nothing to show for their sterile domination – other than some hearty possession statistics. It was an uphill struggle for Arsenal even before Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent packing after picking up two yellow cards. Food for thought for Unai Emery, who has asked Henrikh Mkhitaryan to fill in at right-back.
45 min: Arsenal clear their lines but Leicester recycle possession. Unai Emery’s side are struggling to stem the flow, as Albrighton almost finds Vardy in the box. There will be two added minutes.
44 min: Maddison has another effort deflected wide for a corner. Arsenal, it is fair to say, are hanging on for half-time.
42 min: Vardy cannons an effort at Leno! The resulting Leicester corner is cleared by Kolasinac and Maguire fouls Lacazette on halfway, allowing Arsenal some respite. Leicester have been unrelenting opponents.
41 min: Maddison zips a clever ball downfield for Vardy, who darts out to that fertile right-back berth that Mkhitaryan is occupying. In fact, Aubameyang ends up darting back to help out.
37 min: If Sokratis looked weary before that sending-off, things look set to get a lot tougher for Arsenal’s defence. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shuffled to right-back for the time being at least and Leicester continue to quietly and patiently probe. They have dominated possession but have nothing to show for it – yet.
35 min: Ainsley Maitland-Niles is sent off! The Arsenal full-back picks up his second booking of the afternoon for a late, and rather crude, challenge on James Maddison. Things go from bad to worse for Unai Emery, who slings off his jacket in anger. He is incensed.
34 min: Aubameyang slips in Iwobi, but his effort is straight at Schmeichel! That was a huge chance, with the Arsenal winger given time and space to get his shot away. But Iwobi’s effort was tame and it ends up dribbling towards Schmeichel, who collects.
33 min: Arsenal saunter into the Leicester half through Aubameyang. Iwobi tries to up it, driving forward before instinctively laying the ball off for the overla … ah, Sead Kolasinac is nowhere to be seen. The Arsenal full-back apologises for failing to offer support own the left.
31 min: Another Leicester chance! Albrighton floats a wonderful ball over the top of the Arsenal back line in search of Vardy, who breezes away from Sokratis and attempts to loft the ball over Leno. He does everything right – but his finish is not delicate enough, with the ball bouncing out of play for a goal-kick. Arsenal survive.
30 min: Leicester have hugged possession, outsmarting Arsenal at their own game. Tielemans has shown plenty of neat touches.
27 min: Leno claws the ball away! Ndidi gets in front of Sokratis to nod at goal, but the Arsenal goalkeeper gets a strong right hand to it. Maguire tries to keep the Leicester attack alive but Arsenal manage to clear their lines. They have been unconvincing at best.
26 min: Leno saves from Maddison! The Leicester midfield again combines with Vardy, who unselfishly held the ball up before driving into the box in search of the cross. In the end, Maddison seemed to get caught in two minds, ostensibly keen to make amends for going it alone a few minutes earlier. Leicester corner …
25 min: Ben Chilwell bombs down the Leicester left like Roberto Carlos, whizzing beyond a powder-puff Maitland-Niles challenge before somehow winning a corner. Brilliant by Chilwell, poor by Arsenal. Meanwhile Lacazette is moving gingerly. He appeared to injure himself while taking aim a moment or two ago.
23 min: Vardy slides the ball into the path of Maddison, who is faced with Mustafi and Maitland-Niles. He runs at Mustafi, forcing the Arsenal defender to back-peddle, with Albrighton in acres of space to his right, screaming for it. But Maddison is greedy and takes aim from 25 yards, dragging a tame daisy-cutter miles wide.
21 min: Just as Leicester continue to make Arsenal look very ordinary, Alex Iwobi surges down the left flank and tees up Lacazette. It is a difficult chance, as the Frenchman tries to take the cross on the half-volley but he does not make the cleanest connection, firing wide.
20 min: Vardy does brilliantly to hold the ball up, taking a few bruises along the way from Sokratis and Xhaka. He maintains possession before Albrighton takes over the baton. He attempts a neat one-two with Tielemans but cannot perfect the return pass.
17 min: Pereira spoons a pass out for a throw-in but, other than that, Leicester have barely put a foot wrong. They are quick to win the ball back, with Vardy gaining ground down on the byline.
14 min: Leno gets in a muddle, but the Arsenal goalkeeper recovers! It stemmed from a dangerous ball in from the left by Chilwell, aimed towards Tielemans, who ran towards the front post. Mustafi tried and failed to shepherd Tielemans away from goal, forcing Leno to rush out and attempt to clear the ball, only to be semi-blocked by the squabbling pair. More promise for Leicester, with Maddison again finding joy dropping off into holes of space wide.
13 min: Ndidi catches Xhaka on the shins and Michael Oliver is quick to hand the Leicester midfielder a yellow card.
12 min: Youri Tielemans shoots wide after collecting a bouncing ball from the left. More good work by Ben Chilwell down the Leicester flank.
11 min: Torreira is back on the field after requiring some medical attention following a clash with Choudhury, the homegrown Leicester midfielder. Leicester are seeing plenty of the ball and have already carved out a couple of half-chances.
8 min: Maddison bends an effort at goal, but it’s deflected wide. Arsenal survive but they are very much on the back foot early on.
7 min: Arsenal break on the counter but when Leicester fly forward down the left through Chilwell, Maitland-Niles halts another Leicester attack and Michael Oliver books the Arsenal full-back.
6 min: Another well-worked Leicester free-kick catches Arsenal cold, with Ben Chilwell dinking a simple ball into the box and there is Jonny Evans to head at goal. Again, it was all too easy for Evans to reach the cross but, in the end, Leno gathers easily.
4 min: Leicester are enjoying plenty of possession. Until Ndidi comes unstuck on halfway, with Xhaka turning over the ball and setting Mkhitaryan free on the counter. Arsenal win a corner …
2 min: Mustafi goes in rash on Maddison and Leicester win a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Maddison flights it into Ndidi, who is totally unmarked inside the box. The Leicester midfielder chested the ball and tried to swing a boot at it but failed to execute his shot.
1 min: Lucas Torreira gets on the ball early on, fizzing a pass into Iwobi who bounces it into Aubameyang but he overcooks his pass for his strike-partner this afternoon, Alexandre Lacazette.
The teams are in the tunnel at the King Power Stadium. Granit Xhaka, wearing the captain’s armband, gives Kasper Schmeichel a cuddle. Lacazette and Aubameyang trudge out on to the pitch.
Some tame pre-match soundbites. “I think it is not about the other teams – it is about us,” says Granit Xhaka, asked about the importance of victory. “If we win, we can be where we want. We have to win first and see after the result of other teams.” From the Leicester camp, Hamza Choudhury says: “Since the manager has come in, not only the results but the performances have been a lot better, playing with more intensity and stuff.” Brendan Rodgers adds: “We’ve just tried to make the team a little more aggressive, we have been working a lot on our pressing.”
“Nketiah was one of the few bright lights in Arsenal v Wolves,” emails Samuel Lawrence. Indeed, the young striker breathed life into a stale performance, his rawness and direct running causing problems for the final 20 minutes, by which point the game was already over. That was only Nketiah’s third appearance since January, when he was primed to join Augsburg on loan until Emery pulled the plug, while Championship clubs were queuing round the block to sign him. “The main thing for Eddie is that he stayed because he’s so important to Unai that he wants to keep him,” explained Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal’s Under-23s coach.
Where’s Özil? Arsenal say the midfielder has a bruised foot, while Nacho Monreal is missing with a calf injury. As a result the Arsenal bench is not the most inspiring; they are not blessed with too many attacking options, the onus will be on highly-rated 19-year-olds Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah should Unai Emery require intervention. But there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful, namely that Arsenal have never lost a Premier League game that has kicked off at midday. And Aubameyang, who has already plundered 24 goals and counting this season, is back.
Team news news: Mesut Özil is absent for Arsenal, who make three changes with Kolasinac, Mustafi and Aubameyang returning to the starting lineup. Emery appears to have opted for a 4-4-2, while Leicester tweak things with a single change from last time out: Hamza Choudhury replaces Demarai Gray. It remains to be seen where James Maddison pitches up, with Ndidi, Tielemans and Choudhury likely to make up a three-man midfield.
Leicester City: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Choudhury, Ndidi; Albrighton, Tielemans, Maddison; Vardy
Subs: Ward, Soyuncu, Gray, Iheanacho, Barnes, Mendy, Fuchs
Arsenal: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Kolasinac; Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi; Aubameyang, Lacazette
Subs: Cech, Elneny, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Guendouzi, Nketiah, Willock
Referee: Michael Oliver
There is no time like the present for Arsenal, who surely require victory to give themselves a fighting chance of landing a top-four berth. With sixth-placed Manchester United duelling with third-placed Chelsea later this afternoon, Unai Emery’s side have the perfect chance capitalise and do their bit. With games against Brighton and Burnley to come, a flawless finish to the season is not impossible but they badly need to resurrect their shaky away form – they have won just twice on the road since November. They travel to Leicester in search of a first win in three matches after damaging consecutive defeats. “The first target is to recover our confidence,” Emery said. “We can build on this confidence each minute, each hour, each day, each week – and above all we’re training and we’re looking for a big performance for the three points.” The bad news for Emery is that Jamie Vardy will again lead the Leicester line, the striker who has been outstanding since Brendan Rodgers’s appointment and a regular thorn in Arsenal’s side having scored six goals in his past seven matches against them. Vardy has no doubt been rubbing his hands together at the prospect of giving a defence that collapsed in defeats to Crystal Palace and Wolves the runaround. Arsenal could be boosted by the return of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following sinus surgery.
Kick-off: 12pm (BST)