By 90Min
October 13, 2017

Two teams in good form go head-to-head on Saturday as Arsenal and Watford clash at Vicarage Road.

Arsene Wenger's side have gone four games unbeaten since their 4-0 loss to Liverpool - with a draw against Chelsea being the only time they have dropped points - and the Frenchman will be keen for his side to build on their form this weekend.

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Equally impressive form comes from Marco Silva's Watford team, with their 12 points from seven matches bringing their strongest opening to a Premier League season ever.

Historically, this contest has fallen the way of the Gunners, picking up numerous wins with plenty of impressive displays against the Hornets. 

But, with Watford claiming a win over Arsenal back in January, new boss Silva will be looking to nab three points away from the north London side as his team continues to impress.


Classic Encounter

You only have to look back as far as 31 January in 2017 to reminisce over the Hornets' last league win over the Gunners, with Walter Mazzarri's Watford besting Wenger's side 2-1 at the Emirates.

With seven consecutive losses to Arsenal in the Premier League previously, it was a big day for Watford to finally take three points away from the tie, with their last league win against the Gunners coming back in 1988.

Watford made a blistering start that day, going two goals up within 13 minutes, thanks to goals from Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney.

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The Gunners pushed on in the second half, dragging one back through Alex Iwobi in the 58th minute, but it wasn't enough in this sodden contest as Watford ran away with the historic win over their London rivals.


Key Battle

Richarlison vs Rob Holding

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With Rob Holding likely to replace the injured Shkodran Mustafi, the 22-year-old will have to have his wits about him when matching up against the flair-filled Brazilian Richarlison.

The 20-year-old Hornets wide-man has been an instant hit since being introduced to the Watford faithful, providing the team with three goals and an assist since his move from Fluminense.

The youngster also grabbed his side's late equaliser against West Brom before the international break, having previously scored at the death at Swansea a week before.

But what the Brazilian could bring on the counter attack for the home side will be crucial to their success against the Gunners, with Holding stepping in as a deputy for missing first team members.


Team News 


Watford will be without a number of defenders, with Sebastian Prodl (hamstring) and Younes Kaboul (leg) still sidelined, leaving the home side stretched at the back should more injuries occur.

Midfielders Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success are also sidelined with similar injuries (knee), while Andre Carrillo will be assessed after his return from international duty with Peru.

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Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck could both return for Arsenal after recovering from injuries, but there will be late fitness tests for Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), Sead Kolasinac and Alexis Sanchez after international duty, although the trio could feature in the starting eleven.

However, Arsene Wenger lost centre-back Shkodran Mustafi to injury during the international break, with the German likely to be replaced by Rob Holding at the back.


Prediction


With both sides in solid form and looking like stern tests for any opposition at the moment, it would seem only right to give both a perfectly reasonable chance of victory on Saturday.

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However, it seems the balance is in Arsenal's favour and, with Alexis Sanchez back and performing well at the moment, it would be hard to see Watford besting an on-song Gunners side.

But with Wenger struggling with unfit defenders, the Hornets could certainly pounce on the opportunity to startle an unsteady Gunners back line. 

Prediction: Watford 1 - 2 Arsenal

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