Arsenal v Watford preview: key man returns, Ozil to play the No.10 role + prediction

By on September 28, 2018

mesut ozil arsenal

Arsenal will be hoping to continue our recent good run of results when we take on Watford at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Unai Emery has turned things around since losing his opening two games against Man City and Chelsea as we’ve won our last six games in all competitions and progressed to the fourth round of the League Cup with a 3-1 win over Brentford on Wednesday night.

Last weekend’s victory over Everton means we’ve won our last four Premier League matches on the bounce and can climb above fourth-placed Watford with another win tomorrow – although we’d be relying on Tottenham’s result at Huddersfield if we’re to break in to the top four.

Watford are a very decent side these days and they’ve given us some tough games in recent years so the players should know better than to be taking this one for granted tomorrow.

Team news

We’ve been boosted by the news that Sokratis is fit for the game after recovering from a dead leg that he sustained last weekend so the Greek international will come back in to the defence.

However, Laurent Koscielny, Dinos Mavropanos and Ainsley Maitland-Niles remain on the sidelines and youngster Emile Smith-Rowe is a doubt with a knock that he picked up in midweek.

Watford are able to call upon Christian Kabasele after his red card against Tottenham was overturned but Daryl Janmaat has been ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury.

Preferred line-up

Emery is expected to recall a number of players so our key men should be well rested. Bernd Leno has failed to convince in his two appearances and although I’ve regularly called for him to be given a run in the first team, Petr Cech has performed well this season so perhaps he should retain the No.1 shirt.

Hector Bellerin will get a recall at right-back and while I expect Emery will go with Shkodran Mustafi alongside Sokratis, I’d love to see Rob Holding given a chance in defence.

I don’t think our set-up is getting the best out of our key players with several playing out of position so I’d like to see Emery try a new system that will play Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in their best roles.

This is how I’d line-up:

In reality, Emery will stick with his usual system with Xhaka next to Torreira, Ozil on the right, Ramsey in the 10 and Auba on the wing.

As for Watford, this is likely to be their XI: Foster; Navarro, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas, Pereyra, Capoue, Doucoure, Hughes; Gray, Deeney

Score Prediction

Arsenal have been quietly going about their business in recent weeks and although we clearly still have problems to resolve, particularly at the back, there are some signs of encouragement. Watford are a solid side and I expect a tough match tomorrow but hopefully we’ll have enough to get the three points. We have a good record against the Hornets having won eight of our last 10 league meetings and I’m backing us to continue that run tomorrow. Arsenal 3-1 Watford.