Match Preview: Watford vs. Arsenal

Date: Saturday 27th August 2016
Location: Vicarage Road, Watford
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Kick-Off: 15:00 BST

Arsenal will travel less than 20 miles to face Watford at Vicarage Road this weekend with both sides looking to record their first win of the new Premier League season.

After a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day being followed by a 0-0 draw away at champions Leicester City last weekend, the Gunners already find themselves five points behind the league leaders and they will be desperate to ensure that that gap does not increase over the third gameweek. Their opponents, meanwhile, suffered a late defeat to Chelsea last weekend after earning a point against Southampton.

The away side are expected to welcome back both Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud back into their starting line-up after both made their first appearances of the season off the bench at the King Power Stadium last Saturday, whilst new signing Granit Xhaka should retain his starting spot in the heart of the midfield.

News broke on Thursday that Arsenal were on the verge of completing two deals worth over a cumulative £50m, with Deportivo la Coruna striker Lucas Perez and Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi both expected to be unveiled as Arsenal players sometime over the weekend. However, even if they do sign before kick-off, they will not be able to feature for the trip to Vicarage Road.

Watford have also been busy in the transfer market of late, with new manager Walter Mazzarri opting for proven Premier League experience with his acquisitions of Younes Kaboul and Daryl Janmaat from Sunderland and Newcastle respectively, whilst the signing of Roberto Pereyra from Juventus represents something of a coup for the club. It would be unlikely to see all three start for the home side but expect them all to make an appearance at some point.

In terms of injuries, Arsenal have no fresh concerns after last week’s clash with Leicester City but Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey remain unavailable, whilst Watford are without their Ivorian right-back Brice Dja Djedje for this game at least. All three are expected to return after the international break in September.

During last season’s encounters in the league Arsenal enjoyed great dominance, winning 3-0 away from home before then winning by four in the reverse home fixture, although Watford did manage to knock the Gunners out of the FA Cup in what was the club’s first cup defeat for over two years.

Unavailable: Gabriel, Iwobi, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Welbeck (injury)

Predicted Line-Up: Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Coqueln, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Alexis; Giroud

Callum Perritt

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.