Watford have had a horrendous start to the season, taking only one point from four matches. It was bad enough that they relieved Javi Garcia of his duties as manager and brought back Quique Sanchez Flores. He will not have an easy start as top four contenders Arsenal come to Vicarage Road.
Arsenal have had an up and down beginning to the season. After squeezing out victories against Newcastle United and Burnley, they lost to Liverpool and drew to Tottenham. The draw against Tottenham is disappointing, but they’ll need to focus on winning points against the bottom half sides to achieve their goal of finishing in the top four this season. This match against Watford is one of those matches they cannot afford to drop points in to reach that goal.
Watford will be without their captain as Troy Deeney has been ruled out after his knee surgery, according to Physioroom.com. The Hornets may receive a boost as Etienne Capoue could return from his illness.
Alexandre Lacazette has been ruled out until at least the end of the month, according to Physioroom.com, which is a big blow to Arsenal’s attacking options. Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Kieran Tierney are also expected to miss out, despite returning to full training.
Watford: Gerard Deulofeu
Deulofeu’s 10 goals and five assists last season accounted for 29% of the Hornets Premier League goals last season. He’s yet to score or assist this season. Even more discouraging is, outside of the match against West Ham, he has only recorded one shot this season. The Spaniard was relied on for a significant amount of the goal-scoring and creativity in the Watford team last season and will need to get on track for them to turn things around.
Arsenal: Dani Ceballos
Ceballos has enjoyed a strong start to his Arsenal career. He’ll be needed in this match to help progress the ball for the Gunners. Something that makes him very important and unique to this Arsenal team is that the ball progression can come in different ways. He is very press resistant and can dribble through a possible high press and can break lines with his passing to help unlock a possible deep block. His ability to move the ball into the final third and into the penalty area will be a key part of Arsenal’s attack.
The Watford players will want to play well to impress their new manager and Arsenal are an atrocious away team, so they could have a real shot of getting something from this match. That said, it will still be a surprise if the Gunners don’t come out with all three points.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal