Watford Vs Arsenal

TEAM NEWS

Emile Smith Rowe sustained a hip injury during his first start in the midweek League Cup win over Brentford and will be assessed. Arsenal defender Sokratis is set to continue his run of starting every league match this season after recovering from a dead leg.

Watford defender Daryl Janmaat is out for six weeks following knee surgery. Christian Kabasele is available after his red card in the League Cup defeat to Tottenham was rescinded on appeal.

Troy Deeney will have injections in a bid to play after suffering ankle ligament damage in the draw with Fulham.

Arsenal vs Watford

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SteveBowercomm: The fact that Watford head into a fixture against Arsenal higher in the table than their opposition for the first time since 1984 says it all about their start to the campaign.

Having beaten Tottenham and pushed Manchester United, they will be full of belief heading to the Emirates, despite only managing one away win in their last 14 attempts.

Arsenal will attempt to record five successive league wins for the first time in more than a year, which tells its own story. It will be important for the Gunners to lay another small building block under Unai Emery for foundations that were never going to be a quick fix.

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One thing is already clear in the post-Wenger era – it’s rarely going to be uneventful.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery on reports the club have withdrawn a contract offer to Aaron Ramsey: “There are three aspects: the player and their family, the club, and the team.

“My focus is on the team, preparing with every player only thinking for the match tomorrow. Each player has individual aspects to work on or to speak with the club or the team.”

Watford head coach Javi Gracia on Unai Emery: “I can see Emery’s style in Arsenal as I saw in Sevilla and other teams he has trained before (and who I managed against). I know they are a good team because they have good players. They are improving game by game, getting better results, in this moment they are in a good moment, and we know it will be a tough game for us.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I don’t actually think much has changed about Arsenal under Emery – they are a good side, but they were a good side under Arsene Wenger, just not one of the best three teams in the country.

As well as their good results, I like the look of Lucas Torreira in midfield, so there is lots to be encouraged about.

Prediction: 2-0

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal have won eight of the 10 Premier League meetings. However, Watford’s two wins have come in the last three matches.
  • The Hornets have also won on two of their past four visits to the Emirates in all competitions.
  • There has been only one draw in 22 top-flight fixtures between the sides: 1-1 at Highbury 34 years ago.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal kept a first clean sheet in seven games in all competitions against Everton last weekend.
  • The Gunners have not lost a Saturday 3pm kick-off at home in the league since a 3-1 defeat by Aston Villa in August 2013 (W18, D2).
  • They have won 21 consecutive Premier League home fixtures against teams outside of the established top six by an aggregate score of 62-11.
  • Arsenal have scored in 34 of their last 36 league games at the Emirates Stadium, only failing to do so in two losses to Manchester City.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 12 goals since his Premier League debut in February. Only Mohamed Salah, with 16, has been more prolific in that period.

Watford

  • Watford are winless in two league games but their tally of 13 points after six matches is a club top-flight record.
  • They have lost 15 of their last 16 Premier League away games against the established top six sides.
  • The Hornets are one short of 50 Premier League wins and 200 Premier League goals.
  • Daryl Janmaat’s injury means there will be a change to the starting XI for the first time this season in the league

Source: BBC News