Arsenal-Watford Preview

Arsenal will have A chance to take the pressure off their manager Arsene Wenger when they travel across north London to take face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The Gunners' dismal 0-1-1 start has seen veteran manager Wenger come under intense criticism for his lack of transfer activity and a culture of mediocrity that permeates throughout the club. However, a fortuitous draw with Leicester last weekend at least got a point on the board for Arsenal.

Wide man Theo Walcott believes the team's difficult run could be about to come to an end.

"We don't want teams getting away from us (in the title race), but it's only two games in," Walcott said. "We've got a nice run of games now and we've got to think about all of the positives from today.

"Watford is going to be another tough game because every game is this season, so it's going to be very difficult. Each team gets better each year. We want to have a similar sort of performance to when we last played Watford away. It doesn't matter how we play, as long as we get the three points."

Watford (0-1-1) also arrive into the game low on confidence, having endured a tricky start to life under new manager Walter Mazzarri.

The Hornets drew 1-1 with Southampton on the opening day of the season, but failed to spark in that game and then suffered a 2-1 loss to Chelsea last weekend. And things went from bad to worse for Mazzarri and his side as they were dumped out of the League Cup by third-tier side Gillingham on Tuesday evening.

However, the Italian coach was keen to move on from the disappointing cup exit and opted to take positives from some promising signs in the display at Stamford Bridge. He also focused on the boost of new signings Daryl Janmaat, Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra.

"I'm not sure if they will start (against Arsenal) or play later," Mazzarri said. "I want to start from the good things we did against Chelsea, so it's nearly impossible all three will start. I need to take into consideration the XI who played against Chelsea."

Mazzarri will not have the luxury of picking right-back and summer signing Brice Dja Djedje. The Ivory Coast international is struggling with a foot injury. However, striker Isaac Success could make his club debut if he passes a late fitness test.

Arsenal have, as usual, a host of injury concerns. Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi, defenders Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista, and utility forward Danny Welbeck have all been ruled out.

Wenger may be without a number of players, but he will take confidence from a terrific personal record against Watford. Arsenal have never lost to the Hornets in six total Premier League meetings, though the Gunners were downed 2-1 in an FA Cup quarterfinal between the two teams last season.

Midfielder Etienne Capoue has scored in each of Watford's league matches so far this season. No player in the club's history has ever scored in three straight games at the start of a top-flight campaign.

Defeat for Arsenal would leave them on just one point after three games, which would be their lowest tally at this stage since 2011-12. Wenger's side went on to finish third in the league that season.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.