Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits that the “dominance and belief” Leicester City showed against Manchester City makes them genuine Premier League title challengers.
Having beaten Manchester City and Liverpool in their last two games, the Foxes go into Sunday’s match against Arsenal five points clear at the top of the table.
The Gunners are currently third in the league, behind rivals Tottenham on goal difference, while City are fourth.
Wenger has previously stated that Claudio Ranieri’s side are capable of winning the title, but the Gunners boss has described their stunning 3-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium as a “turning point” in their season.
“They had a decisive test against Liverpool and City,” he said.
“If they had lost you would have said no, they can’t do it. But these two games were the turning point in their season.
“(Against City) they had a kind of dominance and belief in every challenge, that special force where teams get into a zone where teams think: ‘we can do this’.”
Leicester have only lost twice in the league all season – the first a 5-2 defeat to the Gunners at the King Power Stadium back in September.
Since then they have only lost at Anfield to Liverpool on Boxing Day and Wenger admits he sees a different Leicester side now to the one his men dismantled almost five months earlier.
“They are more cautious at the moment,” he said.
“They play a lot in their final third and come out very quickly. Look at the number of direct balls from their half to the opponents’ half.
“They are higher than anyone else because they have Jamie Vardy on his way straight away when they win it. They do it very well. They suck you in and go very quickly in the opponents’ half.
“At the time (of the 5-2) they were a bit more all going forward. Today they are a bit more ‘let’s sit here and use our strengths in a very efficient way’, which is what they did remarkably well against Man City.”