The latest round of midweek matches is upon us. Arsenal v Watford is one of seven top flight games to occur tomorrow. To make matters even more dramatic, tomorrow is also Transfer Deadline Day so there could be deals happening left, right and centre!
Watford are in a difficult place at the moment with no wins in their last seven Premier League games (D3, L4). They haven’t scored in four of those games. Walter Mazzarri has made too many team changes and they could be losing a key player in Odion Ighalo who is set for a £20m move to China. The Hornets are stuck in a rut and are 14th in the table. Now that they have exited the FA Cup, they only have the Premier League to focus on.
Arsenal are 2nd, eight points behind league leaders Chelsea and are looking for their sixth successive league win at the Emirates. The Gunners thrashed Southampton 5-0 in the FA Cup fourth round and should be high on confidence.
Arsenal have no new injury concerns. Arsene Wenger is debating whether to start Danny Welbeck so soon after his performance against Southampton. If he does, it will be his first taste of Premier League action since May 2016.
Watford will be without Costel Pantilimon who was carried off on a stretcher against Millwall on Sunday after sustaining a blow to his right foot. Pantilimon looks set to miss games against Arsenal, Burnley, Manchester United and West Ham. “It seems he has got three or four weeks out of the game,” confirmed Mazzarri. New signing M’baye Niang is available to face Arsenal. The French-born forward, who was signed last week from AC Milan, was unable to make his Hornets debut at Millwall because he had not received international clearance. Mazzarri has described him as “perfect for the Premier League.”
Watford have struggled in recent weeks and they need to stop the rot. However, I don’t believe this will happen at the Emirates against Arsenal. My prediction is Arsenal 3-0 Watford.