Premier League Preview: Watford vs. Arsenal

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
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  • Arsenal has won eight of 10 matches since Wenger took over
  • Hornets were victorious in January meeting
  • Troy Deeney hasn’t scored in 13 consecutive PL fixtures
  • Gunners have failed to score in first three road matches

Watford will host Arsenal on Saturday from Vicarage Road (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) as the Hornets look to end the Gunners’ seven-match unbeaten run.

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The Hornets are coming off of back-to-back positive results and currently sit eighth in the Premier League as one of the early surprises of the season. Despite allowing the third-most goals in England’s top flight, Watford is unbeaten in six of its first seven fixtures.

Marco Silva‘s side will be looking for a breakout performance from striker Troy Deeney, who has failed to score in his last 13 PL matches, which marks the longest drought of his Watford career.

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Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger may be forced to shuffle his squad around if things don’t go his way in the lead up to kick off. Sead Kolasinac, Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez are all players that could miss out on the fixture, while Shkodran Mustafi is out for several weeks.

What they’re saying

Wenger speaking on defensive concerns due to injuries“Yes, I have. I think about sorting out the problem, but overall I will completely decide what I do tomorrow because Koscielny will have a test then. He worked quite hard physically, he looks like he is capable of playing if he survives the test. If he has no pain on his Achilles tendon, he can play. I will decide that tomorrow.”

Cleverley on not playing afraid against Arsenal: “The mentality is changing here. We won’t go out there feeling inferior or like we have to change our game. We want to be on the ball and creating chances, as well as keeping it tight and not being silly. I feel like we’re evolving into having that mentality of being a top-half team.”

Prediction

Watford has shown signs of improvement thus far, outside of the 6-0 drubbing the club suffered at the hands of Manchester City a few weeks back. However, their opponent on Saturday is in fantastic form, and despite several possible setbacks in the Gunners lineup, Wenger’s group should still emerge victorious. Arsenal 2-0.