Arsenal's Arsene Wenger is facing a defensive dilemma ahead of the Gunners' clash against Leicester City with the manager yet to decide Laurent Koscielny's partner in defence. Gabriel Paulista was drafted into the team following Per Mertesacker's red card against Chelsea, but he has formed a strong partnership with his French counterpart and kept the German out of the team for the last three games.
The Koscielny-Gabriel partnership has seen Arsenal go unbeaten in three games and concede just one goal. This could prompt the Gunners' boss to stick with the duo ahead of their crunch match against Leicester on Sunday (14 February). Moreover, the Brazilian will be able to tackle the Foxes' forward line pace better than the former German international, which could be a key factor as Arsenal look to close the gap at the top of the table.
Mertesacker, however, has been the French manager's preferred choice to partner Koscielny throughout the campaign and he will be aware of the experience the 2014 World Cup winner will bring to the team in a clash which could have a bearing on the title race. What the German lacks in pace, he clearly makes up with his reading of the game and leadership skills, which could be crucial in Claudio Ranieri's high-flying team visit.
"It's difficult for me to go into any individual assessment. I think he has played many games. Sometimes I use a different formula. Per Mertesacker is a great leader, a very respected one in our dressing room, but I have three entire backs and I adapt a little bit to their level of form, to the number of games they've played and to the opponents we play against. What are their strengths and where can they hurt us?" Wenger said, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.