Sunday, June 4, 2023

Watford Vs Arsenal Preview: Both Sides Will Look For Their First Win Of The Season

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Arsenal travel to Vicarage road to face Walter Mazzarri’s Watford in game week 3 of the 2016/17 Barclays Premier League. The Gunners have only 1 point from their two games are desperate to get their first win of the season while Watford also have the exact same number of points from their two games. The Hornets gave Chelsea a run for their money in their last game but were undone in the final 10 minutes as Antonio Conte’s side came back from one nil down to grab a stunning victory by a 2-1 scoreline. It is thus an extremely important match for both the teams who are in urgent need for a victory.

Team News

Watford do have their trio of new signings available for the game but the manager has previously remarked that he will not look to incorporate all three of them in his starting line-up on Saturday. One or maybe two of them might feature against Arsenal. Mazzarri is likely to change his lineup nevertheless as he looks to bring a bit more solidity to the team, hoping they would fare well after taking the lead. Watford has so far surrendered their lead in all the three games they have played so far this season and has also conceded some late goals, which is a cause of concern for the manager.

Arsenal, on the other hand, played out a dull draw in their last game against Leicester and there will definitely be some changes in the first XI this time round.  ‘Assist-King’ Mesut Ozil is likely to return to his favoured position in behind the striker while Wenger has a decision to make on who will partner Xhaka in the base of the midfield. Francis Coquelin’s limitations were once again exposed at the King Power and Santi Cazorla will be the perfect option to field in the deep role once again, but Watford’s attacking duo of Ighalo and Deeney are very powerful which would call for Coquelin to provide the midfield cover beside Xhaka on Saturday.

The home team has Brice Dja Djédjé out with a foot injury while Isaac Success is doubtful for the clash. Arsenal’s injury list contains the names of Iwobi, Ramsey, Gabriel, Jenkinson, Mertesacker and Welbeck.

Predicted Line-ups

Watford (3-5-2): Gomes; Cathcart, Britos, Prodl; Amrabat; Behrami, Capoue, Pereyra, Zuniga; Deeney, Ighalo

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud

Key Players

Watford would rely heavily on their hardworking talisman Troy Deeney to make the runs into the box and provide the attacking impetus upfront while the manager would be relying on Etienne Capoue to nullify the attacking threat of Mesut Ozil. Arsenal’s main players for the game would be Rob Holding, who would need to be at his best again to deal with the power of Ighalo and Deeney while much would depend on how the Gunners fullbacks, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin defend against the forward runs of the attacking wingbacks of the home team. Hector Bellerin would be one of the key players for Arsenal as his defending qualities would be tested against Watford.

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