Match Preview: Waford vs Arsenal

27/08/2016 10:57


Watford take on Arsenal at Vicarage Road today in the Premier League, in a match which will see both sides aim to record their first win of the season.


The Hornets suffered a last-gasp defeat to Chelsea despite being the better team for large parts of the game last weekend. Watford's performance was deserving of at least a point, but a late strike from Diego Costa secured Antonio Conte's men all three points last week.


The Golden Boys suffered more disappointment in mid-week, when a much-changed Watford side were dumped out of the EFL Cup by Gillingham. Walter Mazzarri's men will surely want to put things right today.


Arsenal, on the other hand, drew with Leicester City last week after a disappointing opening weekend defeat to Liverpool and pressure is starting to mount on Arsene Wenger to turn around the Gunners' fortunes.


Arsenal comprehensively beat the Hornets during the two meetings between the sides in the Premier League last season, however the Golden Boys pulled off one of the shocks of the FA Cup in March, when Watford defeated the Gunners 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.


Goals from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura put Watford 2-0 in front and they survived a late Arsenal fight-back to book their place in the FA Cup Semi-Final.


Arsenal's boss Arsene Wenger is a name which has become synonymous with the North London club since his arrival in 1996. Wenger has done a lot of good for Arsenal, helping them to win the Premier League and guiding them into the Champions League on a regular basis.


However, in recent seasons, the Emirates has become more and more of a frustrated place, with fans unhappy about the lack of silverware and Wenger's reluctance to spend money on improving the squad in key areas.


The Gunners' key player today will be Mesut Ozil. The German is Arsenal's creator-in-chief having recorded the most assists in the Premier League last season.


Ozil was Arsenal's player-of-the-season last season, having score eight goals and recorded 20 assists in all competitions over the course of 2015/16.


He is arguably the best midfielder in the Premier League and the German will be at the heart of Arsenal's attacking forays later today. It's important that the Hornets keep the German quiet if they wish to beat the Gunners at Vicarage Road.


Today will mark another tough contest for the Hornets. Despite their poor start to the season, Arsenal will surely want to put things right today and send their fans home happy.


However, their defensive frailties are still there for all to see and if Watford can put pressure on Arsenal's backline, then they might receive some joy.


If the Hornets can replicate their performance from last week and cut out the silly mistakes, then they could definitely make things difficult for the Gunners.


Let's get right behind Walter Mazzarri and his team today, as Arsenal are definitely there for the taking. Come on you 'Orns!


Team News


For Watford, new signings Younes Kaboul, Roberto Peryra and Daryl Janmaat look set to be included in the match-squad, however Walter Mazzarri has said it is unlikely that all three will start. Isaac Success has returned from injury and could also feature. Brice Dja Djedje remains on the side-lines.


For Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is suffering from a defensive crisis with Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Calum Chambers all on the side-lines. Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey are also ruled out. Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud could make their first starts of the season.


Predicted Team Line-ups


Watford - Gomes (GK), Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Amrabat, Behrami, Capoue, Pereyra, Holebas, Deeney ©, Ighalo.


Arsenal - Cech (GK), Bellerin, Koscielny ©, Holding, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud.


Referee - Kevin Friend.