Thursday, October 22, 2020

Watford v Arsenal – Gunners to end away curse?

The race for European football continues tonight as Watford take on Arsenal at Vicarage Road. The Hornets currently sit in tenth, four places and one point behind Leicester City in seventh. Meanwhile, the Gunners are sat sixth, a point behind Manchester United – a win would see them jump their long term rivals.

Arsenal and Watford Form

The visitors come into this one with five wins from their last seven league games, although they lost their last game away at Everton. In fact, Arsenal’s away form has been abysmal all season – they’ve won just two of their last 12 away games in all competitions. They’re yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet away from home this season – if that continues until the end of the season, it will be a Premier League first.

Watford are flying high at the moment – they turned over a two goal deficit to complete a stunning comeback over Wolves in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. The Hornets have won three home games in a row and are yet to lose at Vicarage Road in 2019. Curiously, they sit on 99 home wins in the top flight of English football – so there’s a milestone to be had tonight.

Team News

Jose Holebas, Domingos Quina and Tom Cleverley are all out of action for Watford. Meanwhile, Arsenal will be without Sokratis as he starts his two game suspension, as well as Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin. There is some good news for Gunners fans as Granit Xhaka returns to the team.

Arsenal Unai Emery

Manager comments

Javi Gracia says he doesn’t think last week’s FA Cup game will be a distraction for his side as they chase seventh place:

“I am only thinking about trying to win the next game. I don’t want to think any further. We have good professionals and, with these players, it is easy as they know the next game is very important. We don’t have only one final – we have seven finals. All of them are focused on the next game.”

Unai Emery says his side are focused on making sure of a place in the Champions League for next season:

“Each match gives us a big challenge for the possibility to improve and take three points and the possibility to end the season in the top four. For us that would be a big success. When we started last in the table after the first two matches in the season we were thinking about arriving in this moment with the possibility of being in the top four in our hands.”

Author prediction: Despite Gracia’s comments, I think there will be a little bit of a hangover there from the FA Cup last week. Europa League qualifying rounds were guaranteed for Watford when they reached the cup final anyway (as cup final opponents Man City will definitely finish in a European spot).

Arsenal need the win if they want to continue their push for Champions League, and I think they’ll get it. However I don’t think they’ll manage to break their away game clean sheet jinx – I’m going for a 2-1 Arsenal win.

For more like this, visit our dedicated football page here. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook for more opinions and analysis right to your timeline.

Similar Articles

Comments

SIMILAR

Why A ‘European Premier League’ Is A Bad Idea

It has been announced that Liverpool and Manchester United are planning talks to join a ‘European Premier...

Reviewing Week 6 Of The NFL

Week 6 is now complete in the NFL. In a week that saw no Thursday Night Football...

A Review Of Week 5 In The NFL

We have seen five weeks fly by in the NFL. We are over a quarter of the...

British Ice Hockey, what could be done better?

People will say the British ice hockey league is just a stepping stone for import players to...

Everton: They Couldn’t, Could They?

Everton are currently top of the Premier League. After four straight wins, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are sitting...

The First Period

First of all thanks for reading my Column, those that know me would say I'm a hockey...

Bears 1 point win makes massive statement

They've made a habit of starting slow in 2020, but the Bears 1 point win over the...

NFL: Review Of Week 4

Week 4 is complete in the NFL and we are now a quarter of the way through...

“I Thought I Was Going To Die”: My Interview With Paul Brown

Last week i has the chance to speak on Zoom with Paul Brown, who can be found...

Assessing Liverpool’s 7-2 Loss To Aston Villa

Liverpool were stunned on Sunday after their 7-2 loss away to Aston Villa. In a match that...