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Preview: Watford v Arsenal, team news, line-up & prediction
Arsenal desperately need to pick up our first win of the new Premier League season when we take on Watford at Vicarage Road this afternoon.
It’s been a disappointing start to the season after taking just one point from our two games against Liverpool and Leicester City so far and Arsene Wenger knows the pressure is on to get three points today.
Another draw or defeat and we’ll probably be at least seven points off the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City. Obviously it’s still very early days but we’d be leaving ourselves with a mini-mountain to climb already.
Watford won’t be an easy task at Vicarage Road either. They pushed Chelsea all the way and Antonio Conte’s side needed another late winner to take away the three points last weekend, so we need to be on our game today.
The boss has eased the pressure on his shoulders after splashing out over £50m on Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi. They may not be the signings fans have been crying out for – Lucas in particular – but Wenger has done what we wanted and spend decent money on two areas we desperately needed to address, so let’s get behind the team now.
Mesut Ozil is expected to be recalled to the starting eleven after building up his fitness over the past week but Olivier Giroud isn’t ready so will once again be on the bench.
Aaron Ramsey is progressing well in his recovery from a hamstring injury but remains unavailable along with Alex Iwobi – who’s nursing a thigh injury.
Per Mertesacker and Gabriel are still out so I expect Rob Holding to continue alongside Laurent Koscielny in defence after the youngster put in an excellent performance at Leicester.
Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson remain out with long-term knee injuries while Joel Campbell isn’t available having completed his loan move to Sporting Lisbon.
Neither of our soon-to-be new signings are available yet so the team will be similar to the one that faced Leicester. I’d like to see Mohamed Elneny come in for Francis Coquelin in midfield while Ozil should replace Santi Cazolra in the No.10 role.
We have an excellent record against Watford having never lost a Premier League game against them and hopefully we’ll see that continue today. They are a dangerous team with the likes of Deeney and Ighola up front but I think we should have too much for them going forward with Ozil back. Watford 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal are the 5/7 favourites to win this match but I like a little more value when betting so my tip would be to back us to win 2-0 at odds of 8/1 – although some Swedish betting companies are offering even greater odds. I also like the look of Alexis Sanchez opening the scoring at 5/1 so if we combined that with a 2-0 away win we’d get very tempting odds.