By 90Min
March 10, 2018

As we enter the final few months of this year's Premier League, week 30 brings us the second round of action between Arsenal and Watford.

The visitors make the journey to north London hoping to make it three wins on the bounce after overcoming Everton and West Brom in their two previous matches.

Arsenal are going through a dismal run of league results but will be coming off the back of a reassuring 2-0 away win at Milan in midweek action, so both teams have reasons to be cheerful.

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Unlike some fixtures that come at this point in the season, this one isn't exactly the most important for either club, as Watford sit in a comfortable ninth position, while Arsenal are unlikely to finish in the top four and focussed instead on winning the Europa League.

Classic Encounter

Arsenal and Watford first met back in 1906 when Arsenal were still donning their previous 'Woolwich Arsenal' tag and it would be the former south Londoners who would take the 3-0 win in an FA Cup tie. 

More recently, it is the underdogs who have come out on top with the Hornets taking all three points in the last two meetings, both finishing 2-1 in the Premier League, so you could say that Javi Gracia's new side have become a bit of a bogey team for Arsenal.

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Key Battle

Laurent Koscielny vs Troy Deeney

Troy Deeney is in a great run of form at just the right time for his side. He individually secured the three points in Watford's last two matches, scoring the winning goal on both occasions. 

Arsenal's key man is always Laurent Koscielny. The Frenchman has been at the heart of Arsène Wenger's defence for quite some time now and will be hoping to stop the threat that Deeney brings, especially after the Watford striker claimed Arsenal lacked 'cajones' the last time the two sides met.

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Team News 

Of the two sides, neither have particularly good injury situations as the most demanding part of the season looks to have taken it's toll. 

Arsenal are without long-term absentees Santi Cazorla, Alexandre Lacazette and Nacho Monreal, the latter out with a back problem, while Héctor Bellerín and Sead Kolašinac have been added to that list over the last few days.

Watford have it rather bad with five or six first team players sidelined including Younès Kaboul, Craig Cathcart, Tom Cleverley, Christian Kabasele and Gerard Deulofeu, with José Holebas and Kiko Femenía remaining doubtful.

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If Troy Deeney hadn't taken a dig at Arsenal last year when his side won 2-1, you could easily come to the conclusion that the Gunners would fail to turn up yet again, like they did against Brighton and Manchester City before that. 

But unfortunately for Watford, Deeney said what he said and you can bet Arsenal have not forgotten. 

Wenger too will be wanting to show the footballing world that his side are much better than what they have looked in recent weeks, whilst simultaneously looking to wash away Watford's status as their bogey side.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Watford 

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