A Watford side who ran riot over the Toffees at Goodison Park only two weeks ago, were dominated by Southampton at home last week, and will be looking to climb up the table if they can get a result at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday.
Che Adams scored the only goal against the Hornets in the twentieth minute with a superb strike from the edge of the area beating Ben Foster in the top right corner of the net. Southampton controlled the game with 62% possession and although that was the only shot on target for the Saints, it was evident which side deserved the win.
Josh King will be looking to get on the scoresheet after being the main man to turn upon, after a hat trick at Goodison Park against his former side. It seems like a smart piece of business by Watford as a replacement for long-time striker and legend Troy Deeney departed for Birmingham City this summer.
This is Claudio Ranieri's fourth match in charge since his appointment, and with a record of 1 win and 3 losses, he'll be looking to immediately amend his negative tally with a win against the Gunners.
Arsenal come into the game as a new side since their horrendous start to the season. Seven games unbeaten include five wins and two draws. It was an excellent first half for Mikel Arteta's side last Saturday, as it seems to be in every match. Gabriel Magalhaes converted Bukayo Saka's corner in only five minutes at the King Power Stadium. The impressive Emile Smith Rowe then made it two to the good thirteen minutes later latching on to a loose ball in the 18-yard box and smashing past Danish international Kasper Schmeichel.
The end of the first half and the remainder of the match was a test for Arsenal's new number one Aaron Ramsdale and indeed did he excel, parrying James Maddison's perfectly placed free kick on the brink of half time and denying Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy countless times to win not only a clean sheet for the Gunners, but a Man of the Match award for himself.
This match is a chance for Arsenal to soar up to potentially 5th place, but it doesn't usually come at an easy expense having not the best record against the Hornets on previous occasions.
The last time the two sides met competitively is not the best to remember as a Watford fan, as the Gunners sent them down to the Championship with a narrow 3-2 win in July 2020. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted a penalty in the 5th minute after Alex Lacazette was brought down and Mike Dean consulted with VAR before awarding it. Kieran Tierney and Aubameyang again made it 3-0, but right before half time Troy Deeney pulled one back with one from the spot. There was a goal for ex-Arsenal player Danny Welbeck but not enough to salvage a point.
Team News- Arsenal:
Good news is that Granit Xhaka is back in light training but will not be ready for the game this Sunday. Kieran Tierney is back available for selection after being out with a bruised ankle, but an impressive run of games for Nuno Tavares means he is facing some competition.
Team News- Watford:
Emmanuel Dennis returns from his one-game suspension while Ken Sema and Kwadwo Baah both picked up injuries this week. Francisco Sierralta and Kiko Femenia are both back training and in contention to play. Christian Kabasele is unfortunately still out with a hamstring strain and not expected to be available yet.
“Every game is different, they [Watford] have a new Head Coach, a team that needs wins – as we do – and in this league any team can cause you problems, can beat you, and you always have to be aware of that."
“On Sunday we will play against a very good team, a very good manager. Now we have to do our best to do something good! It will be very important to achieve the points but also to see how they show my philosophy."
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tavares, White, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Lokonga, Partey, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Watford: Foster, Masina, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Ngakia, Sissoko, Cleverley, Kucka, Cucho Hernandez, Sarr, King
When and where to watch:
The game is being played at the Emirates Stadium at 2pm UK time and is being broadcasted on Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League. Sky subscribers can live stream the match on the Sky Go App. If you are unable to do any of the above, make sure to tune into Arsenal VAVEL and Watford VAVEL for analysis and match reports after the game.