By 90Min
September 28, 2018

Arsenal host Watford in one of Saturday's Premier League afternoon kick offs at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners look to propel themselves into the top four for the first time this season.

Arsenal comfortably beat Everton last weekend in a 2-0 victory at home and ran out 3-1 victors over Championship side Brentford in the Carabao Cup in midweek. They face surprise package Watford in this weekend as the north London side look to continue their good run of form.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Watford continued their solid start to the season when they drew for the first time against Fulham finishing 1-1 in the early kick off, the goal coming from Andre Gray. 

The Hornets suffered defeat on Wednesday night against Spurs on penalties, which puts a slight downer on their start to the season but have the capabilities to bounce back against the Gunners.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash at the Emirates.


Classic Encounter

Watford 2-3 Arsenal (Premier League 1999/00)

A first half blitz from Arsenal was enough back in the spring of 2000 as the Gunners held on to beat the Hornets 3-2. Watford's loss at home unfortunately didn't help their quest to stay in the Premier League as they finished bottom of the table, while Arsenal finished second behind Manchester United.

The first half kicked into life 20 minutes in when Thierry Henry got the ball rolling. The Gunners doubled their lead three minutes from time when Ray Parlour netted past Alec Chamberlain. The north Londoners were't finished there as French striker Henry got on the scoresheet for the second time.

Gary M. Prior/GettyImages

Watford got themselves on the front foot 13 minutes after the restart when Heidar Helguson scored past David Seaman. Two minutes later on the hour mark Jamaican midfielder Micah Hyde bagged the Hornets second to put Arsenal on edge.

Despite putting in a hard shift for the next half an hour, it was too little too late for the Hornets as Arsenal claimed all three points.


Key Battle

Roberto Pereyra vs Granit Xhaka

Michael Regan/GettyImages

Roberto Pereyra has been a star performer for the Hornets this season, scoring three goals in six appearances, and has shown his class in Watford's rise to fourth in the Premier League.

Switzerland international Granit Xhaka has played every Premier League game this season for the Gunners and is the shield in front of the back four in the team. 

Pereyra's flair could prove difficult to handle as the Argentine likes roaming all over the field. Xhaka will need to be on top form to quell the danger he poses in a undoubtedly tough battle.


Team News


Arsenal will be without long-term absentees Konstantinos Mavropanos, Laurent Koscielny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles for the visit of Watford.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is in a race to recover from a dead leg that he sustained in the victory over Everton last weekend. The rest of the squad are available for selection.

Henry Browne/GettyImages

As for Watford, they are without long-term injury absentees Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley for this weekends fixture.

The Hornets have Christian Kabasele available after his red card against Spurs in the Carabao Cup was overturned. Centre backs Sebastian Prodl and Miguel Britos are struggling with a slight knock and a thigh injury.

The rest of the squad are available for selection.


Potential Arsenal Lineup: Cech; Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka, OzilRamseyAubameyangLacazette.


Potential Watford Lineup: Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas; Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra; Gray, Deeney.


Prediction

Arsenal have been on a great run of form and it is unlikely to slow down despite the threat that Watford pose. Alexandre Lacazette has been on top form over the past couple of games alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Watford have danger men of their own in Andre Gray and Roberto Pereyra but the Gunners should just about edge the game on their form.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Watford

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