Arsenal vs Watford
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Saturday; April 2; 2016
Kick off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: Anthony Taylor
On Saturday, Watford travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal, with the Hornets looking to put the final nail in the coffin on Arsenal’s title challenge.
A worrying downturn in form has seen the Quique Flores’ men drop down to 14th and while they are in no immediate danger of being relegated, they need to turn their fortunes around sooner rather than later. Watford have won only one of their last five away Premier League outings, losing the other four.
Their last meeting just three weeks ago was perhaps the nadir of Arsene Wenger’s 19th season at Arsenal as he watched his side show the same failings that have cursed his reign over the past decade.
The Gunners may have seen the difficulties in last clash, but probably will record a comfortable home win, as they are desperate for a result here.
Arsenal’s Premier League record: P30– W16– D7– L7
Watford’s Premier League record: P30– W10– D7– L13
Arsenal’s Recent form (All competitions): W-L-L-W-D
Watford’s Recent form (All competitions): L-W-L-L-D
Head to Head Stats(Last 6 matches):
EFC 13-03-2016 Arsenal 1 : 2 Watford
EPL 17-10-2015 Watford 0 : 3 Arsenal
EPL 26-12-2006 Watford 1 : 2 Arsenal
EPL 14-10-2006 Arsenal 3 : 0 Watford
EFC 05-01-2002 Watford 2 : 4 Arsenal
EPL 23-04-2000 Watford 2 : 3 Arsenal
Arsenal team news:
- Petr Cech has returned to training but Arsene Wenger has not decided whether to play him or not this weekend.
- Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini all miss out for the Gunners, but Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky have returned to training.
- Wenger could name the same side that secured a 2-0 win at Everton prior to the international break.
Watford team news:
- Quique Sanchez Flores remains without injured pair Tommie Hoban and Joel Ekstrand, though has no further injury concerns ahead of the trip to Arsenal.
- The Spaniard could adopt a similar approach to the one that shocked the Gunners in the FA Cup, with Watford lining up in a 4-3-3 formation.
- Nordin Amrabat could start on the right flank, though Sanchez can call on Jurado and Adlene Guedioura in the same position.
Watford predicted starting line-up: Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake; Behrami, Watson, Capoue; Amrabat, Deeney, Ighalo
Arsenal (from): Cech, Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Campbell, Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott, Welbeck.
Watford (from): Gilmartin, Gomes, Pantilimon, Ake, Belkalem, Britos, Cathcart, Ekstrand, Hoban, Holebas, Nyom, Paredes, Prodl, Abdi, Amrabat, Anya, Behrami, Capoue, Jurado, Suarez, Watson, Berghuis, Deeney, Ighalo, Oulare.
Match facts (via Opta):
- Arsenal had won the previous six meetings with Watford before a 2-1 defeat last month in the FA Cup quarter final.
- Watford and Arsenal have met 17 times in the league, with both sides winning eight times and drawing once.
- Watford have won just one of their last six Barclays Premier League away matches (W1 D1 L4) and failed to score in four of the last five.
- The Hornets have not won twice against Arsenal in the same season (all competitions) since 1987/88, and they have never won away against the Gunners twice in a single campaign.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Watford