Watford v Arsenal preview: How to watch, kick off time, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Emmanuel Dennis battles with Bukayo Saka and Takehiro Tomiyasu in the last encounter between these two. Arsenal beat Watford 1-0. Getty Images / Visionhaus

Watford will be looking to stop the rot of their home form when they host a resurgent Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

Roy Hodgson's Hornets have lost their past seven games at Vicarage Road - their worst run in Hertfordshire in the modern era - and will be desperate to overcome such a poor run-in.

With the teams around them beginning to pick up points, Watford need to find a good patch of form. They are currently second from bottom in the Premier League, three points adrift of Everton above them but having played two more games than the Toffees.

It is a contrasting picture for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta's side have won three games on the bounce after a tough start to the year - including two victories against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Those results have put the Gunners in a strong position to earn themselves a Champions League spot. They currently sit sixth in the league.

With three games in hand and only two points behind Manchester United and West Ham, a win against Watford would put Arsenal well on their way to their first Top 4 finish in six years.

Team news

Watford

For the hosts, Roy Hodgson has confirmed that AFCON-winning winger Ismaila Sarr will be unavailable for Sunday's match - a big blow to the Hornets, who have not registered a win this season without him.

Speaking to the media, the 74-year-old Englishman said that he will keep Sarr "out of the equation for the foreseeable future", adding that it could take "anything from a week to four weeks to recover from". 

Similar hamstring strains beset William Troost-Ekong, who has not featured for Watford since he returned from Nigeria's international squad. 

In better news, Kiko Femenia is available for selection on Sunday, having missed out on the side's 0-0 stalemate at Old Trafford.

Arsenal

Takehiro Tomiyasu is the only player who is a doubt for Arsenal, having not featured in a league match since the away side's New Year's Day defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

For Mikel Arteta, then, there is much choice to be had - particularly with the return of Emile Smith-Rowe. The young English midfielder has been in fine form this season, scoring nine goals for the Gunners. In so doing, he is currently their top scorer.

Nonetheless, Arteta will face a selection headache when determining whether he should keep Smith-Rowe out - as he has had a tendency to do - or putting him straight in ahead of either Gabriel Martinelli or Martin Odegaard.

Predicted line-ups

Watford (4-4-2)

Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara; Kucka, Sissoko, Louza, Cleverley; Dennis, King.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1)

Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette.

Ones to watch

Hassane Kamara

Although it has been hard to pinpoint many star performances from the Watford outfit in recent weeks - perhaps even months - an exception to that rule is Hassane Kamara.

Since joining the Hornets from Nice in January, the Ivorian has fit in very nicely. He has started every game, and built a relationship with the fans that not many a player in the squad has.

Indeed, Kamara has been a breath of fresh air down the left-hand side - pressing forward well and moving nicely when on the ball. He has man-marked efficiently when set out to. After a good performance against fellow Champions League contenders West Ham a month ago, it will be interesting to see how he fares against Arsenal.

Thomas Partey

Arteta's side are once again quite the opposite to Hodgson's, with a fair few players to look out for. Nicholas Pepe and Emile Smith-Rowe, should either feature, will no doubt cause the Watford defence problems.

Though it is Thomas Partey who, near-enough guaranteeing a start, will be the one to look out for. Following a dire return to England after featuring at AFCON - where the Ghanaian was sent off just 16 minutes after coming on against Liverpool - Partey has once again made his mark.

Without him, Arsenal's midfield was somewhat lacking with only Sambi Lokonga holding the central patch. Now it appears reaffirmed, shoring up the connection between the defence and attack. Arsenal fans will welcome Partey's form, and he could pose more troubles for the Hornets on Sunday.

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Previous meetings

Following Watford's year in the Championship last season, meetings between these two have become more irregular than they were a few years ago.

Still, at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season, Arsenal brushed past Watford in a comfortable 1-0 victory. Emile Smith-Rowe provided the only goal of the game on the hour mark - which gave some solace to the side, who had earlier seen then-skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have his penalty saved by Ben Foster in the first half.

Their last meeting prior to that came on the final day of the 2019-20 season, behind closed doors. A 3-2 victory for the Gunners succumbed the Hornets to relegation, ending a five season spell in the top flight.

It was nearly a dreamy comeback from the away side, who had gone into the dressing room at half-time 3-0 down. Danny Welbeck, a former Arsenal player himself, nearly flicked the ball into the net late on to secure Watford's survival. It was not to be, however.

A comeback was in store the last time these two played it out at Vicarage Road. Watford emerged from the dugout after 2-0 down, but some poor defending saw Troy Deeney and Roberto Pereyra cancel out an Aubameyang brace.

Going back further, Watford's last victory against Arsenal came under former manager Marco Silva, in October 2017. Once again, the Hornets fought back from a losing position and beat Arsene Wenger's side with a 92nd minute winner in Hertfordshire. Tom Cleverley scrapped the ball into the roof of the net to send the home fans going home beaming.

How to watch

Watford v Arsenal will be available to watch live on Sky Sports on Sunday. Coverage starts at 1pm GMT on Sky Sports Premier League, kicking off Super Sunday.

The game will kick-off at 2pm GMT, being the first of two games on the day - with the Manchester Derby commencing at 4:30pm GMT.

 

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