Arsenal travel to the Vicarage Road looking to clock up the first 3 points of the season. They have had an unsettling start to their Premier League campaign after being hit by a Liverpool goal blitz in the opening match at the Emirates. They followed it up with an unusually drab draw at the King Power Stadium. But a week has changed the musings around the club to an extent and the imminent arrivals of new signings and the expected return to the first team, of players such as Ozil and Giroud have raised hopes of their first victory. Meanwhile, Watford will be hatching their own plans having been harshly denied victory in both their matches thus far.
We look at the 3 key battles which have the potential to dictate the outcome of the match.
OLIVIER GIROUD VS YOUNES KABOUL
Both the players are in line to start the match with Giroud getting some minutes off the bench last week. Kaboul has been signed from Sunderland and the defender will be match fit having featured for the Black cats already this season. Arsenal are desperate for a win and will probably throw all at the Hornets who have been impressive in spells themselves. It will be a physical battle between the two and keeping Giroud quiet will be high on the agenda of the Watford defence. With the open questions raised about the Frenchman’s viability as the senior striker in the squad, he will be pumped up to perform on Saturday.
ROBERTO PEREYRA VS GRANIT XHAKA
There is a possibility of Pereyra starting after having spent over a week training with his new team. Though Mazzarri might look to retain Capoue in the role behind the strikers, his physicality can be put to better use in deeper areas and Watford can look to use the former Juventus man’s unpredictability to unsettle the likes of Rob Holding. Xhaka will be aware of the threat posed by him and will look to give him a crunching welcome early on. Pereyra might be a decisive factor and shackling him will be key.
TROY DEENEY VS LAURENT KOSCIELNY
Troy Deeney has been ever present for the Watford side and he will be expected to deliver once again. But having failed to open his account for the season as of yet, there will be pressure on the duo of Deeney and Ighalo to produce and the main hindrance will be provided by Laurent Koscielny. The Frenchman has been a rock at the back for the Emirates side and he will look to marshall the defence once more and guide the young Rob Holding.