Arsenal vs Leicester City: Fearless Foxes do have something to lose, insists Arsene Wenger

The Foxes are five points clear atop of the Premier League with 13 matches remaining

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has implied Leicester City could buckle under the pressure of leading the Premier League if they take the time to consider the magnitude of their achievements. 

The Foxes are five points clear atop of the Premier League with 13 matches remaining following the stunning 3-1 dismantling of Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday. 

Claudio Ranieri, the Leicester manager, takes his side to the Emirates this weekend hoping to stretch their seven game unbeaten run further. But Wenger, who was asked about their title rivals’ comparatively less hectic fixture list, cast doubt over the claim the surprise leaders can play without pressure.

The Frenchman said: “They’ve got time to think but that can be a disadvantage if you don’t think in the right way. I believe still they’re in a position where they think where they are, they have nothing to lose.

“But when you’re top, you can lose what you have. The pressure is on us as well, I don’t deny that. But I take it as a positive, an opportunity to show how strong we are.”

Wenger reserved praise for his Leicester counterpart, saying former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Monaco manager Ranieri has succeeded wherever he has coached.

“You don’t need to be a super mathematician to realise it’s an important game but it’s not decisive. There’s still a long way to go. I’m not sure [who will win it]. But Leicester are in a strong position and are still there. We’re still nearly there.

“He’s done well in the Premier League before. He’s done well everywhere he’s went.”

When quizzed on who he considers to be Leicester’s biggest threat, Wenger was in no doubt about the talents of top goal-scorer Jamie Vardy and £400k sensation Riyad Mahrez. 

“Goalscoring Vardy, providing Mahrez,” said Wenger on who gives him sleepless nights. “Vardy scores goals, Mahrez creates in tight situations. What’s amazing with Mahrez is he’s not only a provider, but also a goal-scorer as well.

“I didn’t know him. He played second division in France, so they did very well. Today he’s one of the dominant players in the Premier League.”