For the first time in ten days, Arsenal FC are back in English Premier League action as they travel to Vicarage Road to face struggling Watford on Sunday. The Hornets managed to hold Manchester United to a goalless draw last time out, while Mikel Arteta’s side left it late to sink Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1.
Watford have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their 15 Premier League games against Arsenal. So, the Gunners will not expect anything other than a victory which will be a massive boost for the race to be in the top four.
It is a crucial match for the teams. But their targets will be different. Next season, Arsenal needs to be in the UEFA Champions League, and Watford wants to escape from the relegation zone. So, it will be an end to end game, and Watford’s draw against Manchester United will be their source of confidence when they face the Gunners.
But the probability of winning will be more for Arsenal as Watford have just got seven points at Vicarage Road, including conceding a league-high 31 goals in their 13 home outings.
Watford FC: Kiko Femenia is back in contention for Watford’s game against Arsenal on Sunday. The Spanish right-back missed Saturday’s draw at Manchester United due to a knock sustained in training the day before.
However, manager Roy Hodgson confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Golden Boys Ismaila Sarr and William Troost-Ekong would both miss the Vicarage Road clash with muscle strains. Central defender Nicolas Nkoulou is nearing a return to full training, having been sidelined since November with a hamstring injury.
Arsenal FC: Arteta should only have one injury concern in the form of Takehiro Tomiyasu and his troublesome calves, but Cedric Soares has stepped up to the plate in the past couple of weeks.
Pepe and Eddie Nketiah may come into Arteta’s thinking for starts after both men made quite the impact from the bench against Wolves. Still, it is difficult to see Lacazette or Gabriel Martinelli ceding their places although the latter could very well drop out for Smith Rowe.
Watford’s possible starting lineup:
Foster; Ngakia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara; Cleverley, Sissoko, Louza; Pedro, Dennis, King
Arsenal’s possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette
Head to head (h2h) results:
Watford wins: 12
Arsenal wins: 19
Kick-Off: Sunday 6 March
Time: 14:00 (GMT)
Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: Craig Pawson