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Watford v Arsenal preview | Fresh injury blow, Ceballos to start in 4-3-3 + prediction

By on September 15, 2019

Arsenal desperately need to come away with all three points when we take on Watford at Vicarage Road in today’s 4.30pm kick-off.

It was a frustrating Saturday for us as Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all won so the pressure is now on Arsenal to respond by beating Watford this afternoon.

We currently sit seventh in the Premier League table after being held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham before the international break but we can move level on point with second-placed Manchester City with a win today.

The North London Derby was a disappointment as we played poorly in the first half and gifted them a couple of goals. We managed to turn things around and did more than enough to win after the break but I suppose we can’t complain too much about a point after being 2-0 down.

It’s important we get back to winning ways this afternoon but Unai Emery will be fearing a rejuvenated Watford side after they switched managers during the break with Quique Sanchez Flores returning in place of Javi Garcia.

Team news

Arsenal suffered a huge blow ahead of the game after Alexandre Lacazette was ruled out for ‘several weeks’ with a troublesome ankle injury that has bothered him since the Emirates Cup in pre-season.

Rob Holding is back in contention after recovering from a knee injury but he played for the U23s on Friday so won’t be involved today. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are also back in full training but they still need more time to build up their fitness before they’ll be available for the first team.

alexandre lacazette

Granit Xhaka, Joe Willock and Lucas Torreira have all been passed fit despite picking up knocks on international duty while Nicolas Pepe is also available after being given permission to miss the Ivory Coast’s games in order to remain with Arsenal to work on his fitness.

As for Watford, they’ll be without Troy Deeney due to a knee injury and Craig Cathcart is also out. Danny Welbeck could face Arsenal for the first time since leaving in the summer.

Preferred line-up

It will be interesting to see how Emery lines-up without Lacazette but I hope we see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle with Reiss Nelson and Pepe on the wings. I pray Dani Ceballos starts as he’s the man who can really connect the midfield and attack while Matteo Guendouzi has been outstanding so far this season so he deserves to keep his place.

No doubt Xhaka will start and there is talk he’ll be officially confirmed as Arsenal’s new captain soon. I feel this is a huge mistake by Emery as Xhaka shouldn’t be a regular starter never mind captain. He’s a total liability at times and showed it once again by giving away a crucial penalty against Tottenham. For me, Torreira should start in the holding role behind Guendouzi and Ceballos.

This would be my line-up:

football formations

Watford’s expected XI: Foster, Janmaat, Dawson, Kabasele, Femenia, Hugher, Doucoure, Capoue, Deulofeu, Gray, Welbeck

Prediction

Arsenal have a strong record at Vicarage Road as we’ve won five of our last six Premier League trips and Watford currently sit bottom of the table so we should be confident of coming away with all three points today. Obviously the new manager could have an immediate impact but I still think Arsenal are going to be too strong for Watford.

Even without Lacazette, our front three should cause them huge problems and as long as we don’t give them any cheap goals, we’ll have the quality to win the game. I fancy Arsenal to win 3-1.

Score: Watford 1-3 Arsenal

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