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Preview: Arsenal v Watford, Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Arsenal entertain Watford at the Emirates in the quarter finals of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon as we look to extend our superb run in the competition.
The 4-0 fifth round replay victory over Hull City on Tuesday night made it 15 games unbeaten in the FA Cup and we can equal our own record with another win tomorrow.
Arsene Wenger insists he’s still hoping to ‘stay alive’ in all three competitions as we begin a pivotal week in our season that sees us play in the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League.
However, I think it’s safe to say we’ve got practically no chance of turning around our tie with Barcelona while Leicester will move eleven points clear of us in the table with a win at home over second-bottom Newcastle on Monday night.
Therefore, the FA Cup is our most realistic chance of silverware this season so hopefully Arsene will resist the temptation to play a weakened side against Watford tomorrow.
Ramsey has been ruled out for around four weeks after suffering a thigh injury against Hull so it looks like Mohamed Elneny will keep his place in midfield this weekend.
Mertesacker is fit after picking up a head injury at the KC Stadium while Gabriel is expected to be passed fit despite also being forced off at Hull with a hamstring problem.
Koscielny will have a late fitness test on a calf injury but Coquelin is back from his one-game ban while the likes of Bellerin, Sanchez, Ozil and Welbeck should get recalls after being rested in midweek.
Wilshere and Cazorla are back in light training and looking to return at some point in April but they remain out along with Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cech and Rosicky.
As I’ve already said, hopefully the boss won’t rest any players for the Barca game, although I wouldn’t take any risks with Koscielny as there’s no point pushing him if Mertesacker and Gabriel are fit.
Monreal has also been carrying a calf problem in recent weeks so I’d keep Gibbs at left-back while Walcott deserves to start after getting two goals and an assist against Hull – despite the fact he was awful in the first half.
This would be my line-up tomorrow:
As long as we focus on this game and don’t worry too much about the Barcelona trip, then we should be too strong for Watford at home. They’re a decent side and Ighalo and Deeney will certainly be a threat up front, but this is a big game for us and the players will want to make history by lifting the FA Cup for the third consecutive season, so I think we’ll win this game tomorrow.
Arsenal 3-1 Watford