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Arsenal double-winning captain wants Leicester triumph

Arsene Wenger quipped last week that the whole country was behind Leicester City, but he was probably not counting on ex-Arsenal players coming out in support of the surprise Premier League title candidates.

Leicester have won the hearts of football fans around the world as they find themselves five points clear of equal-second Arsenal, who they face at the Emirates on Sunday.

Former Arsenal captain Frank McLintock led the club to a league and FA Cup double in 1971 and played 403 games for the London club after signing from Leicester, but said it would be “sensationally good” if Claudio Ranieri’s men went on to win the league.

“I think they can win the title, yes,” he told The Herald Scotland.

“It will be very difficult but they’ve kept the same team more or less all season.

“If they get two or three key players injured then I don’t know if they will cope with that but, yes, you could put money on Leicester.

“It would be sensational and sensationally good as well.”

McLintock praised Ranieri’s approach at Leicester and said it was a breath of fresh air in an era where he feels everyone is seemingly obsessed with copying Spanish and European champions Barcelona.

“I look at Leicester and it’s fantastic what Ranieri has done. He’s giving them two days off per week. He’s taken the pressure off by saying as long as we get 40 points we’ll be happy,” McLintock added.

“He’s playing it very carefully, he’s a very experienced manager. I’m fed up with teams copying Barcelona; everybody plays 65 per cent or 67 per cent possession.

“How many shots at goal? Two. But Barcelona have got three geniuses up front and other teams don’t. It drives me up the wall.”

Arsenal would move to within two points of Leicester with a win on Sunday, but McLintock does not seem to be overly enthused – or confident – of the prospect of Arsenal catching Ranieri’s side.

“Arsenal have struggled a lot at home,” he continued.

“If Per Mertesacker is playing, Leicester City will be looking for Vardy coming short off him and then spinning and getting the ball knocked up the inside of him. You would imagine that Arsenal will be the team with problems rather than Leicester.”

Sun 14 Feb, 2016
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