Vicarage Road - Premier League
After securing their place in the FA Cup final with a dramatic late comeback last weekend, Watford are back in Premier League action on Monday night. Arsenal are the visitors to Vicarage Road, with the Gunners chasing a spot in the top four.
Arsenal have won the last two meetings between the sides, scoring five times without conceding once. Both of those matches were at the Emirates though, with Watford winning last season’s corresponding fixture 2-1. The Hornets also beat the Gunners by the same scoreline at the Emirates the season before.
Wembley hero Gerard Deulofeu is a doubt for this game after going off injured in the semi-final victory over Wolves. Jose Holebas, Kiko Femenia, Tom Cleverley and Adalberto Penaranda are all doubts too, but Isaac Success is expected to return from a knee injury.
Unai Emery is likely to utilise his squad with a tough Europa League tie at home to Napoli on Thursday night. Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck won’t play a part though, as they’re all injured, although Granit Xhaka should be fit. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suspended but Lucas Torreira returns from a three-match ban.
Watford v Arsenal Preview and Predictions
It’s almost like no one wants to claim a place in the top four this season. Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea have all been below par recently, with the Gunners heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures a point behind fourth-placed Spurs. Watford meanwhile are bouncing after their incredible FA Cup comeback.
The Hornets looked down and out in their FA Cup semi-final with Wolves, but Deulofeu put in a stunning performance off the bench to bring his team back into the game with a delightful chip. Troy Deeney’s injury-time penalty sent the game to extra-time, before Deulofeu finished the job. Javi Gracia will hope the Spaniard is fit to play after hurting his ankle and going back off again.
Even if he is available, the host will still start as underdogs in the betting. Watford are 23/10 to pick up the win on Monday, while Arsenal are available at 5/4. The Gunners suffered a disappointing defeat at Everton last weekend, which brought an end to their run of three straight wins without conceding a goal. There could be some tired legs in the away team’s ranks after a difficult European fixture on Thursday night, which could bring the draw into play at 14/5.
Score draw at 7/2
Watford are unbeaten in their last five home games in the league, winning each of the last three, but Arsenal are full of quality and have a place in the top four at stake. They could be tired after Thursday though.
Watford to score first at 6/5
The Hornets will be full of beans after their last match, while Arsenal could come out of the traps slowly following their midweek exertions.