A fun fact for you. Every team but one in the Premier League has kept a clean sheet on the road at some point. The odd one out? Arsenal. This spells trouble for them as they attempt to earn themselves a spot back in the Champions League towards the end of the season.
Four of their remaining six Premier League games are on the road, three of them to sides that are chasing seventh place still, and they will need every point they can get if they are force their way into the Top 4.
That run starts with an incredibly tricky trip to Vicarage Road to face a Watford side that has had a terrific season, and one that also arrives in good recent form. They have won half of their past six games, but those defeats have all come on the road to Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs. Indeed, they had the better of their trip to United, when they should have taken a least a point – which they would have if it hadn’t been for Anthony Martial’s offside goal.
Since then, they’ve staged an incredible comeback to reach the FA Cup final from 2-0 down, when Troy Deeney kept his nerve and Gerard Delofeu found two moments of magic to turn things round.
In their first home game since, the atmosphere should be rocking and with a nice six day break they should be refreshed enough to take on an Arsenal side that is in the middle of a Europa League quarter-final.
The Gunners were impressive in taking a 2-0 first leg lead against Napoli that gives them a fine chance of making the semis, although it remains to be seen if Unai Emery puts his eggs in the European basket. Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torriera made a huge difference against the Italians going forward but at the back Sokratis Papastathopoulos made a key difference in keeping a clean sheet.
The Greek is suspended for tonight’s game and Shkodran Mustafi’s defensive performances haven’t been up to the same standard. Deeney and Delofeu will be looking to target a backline that has been dodgy on the road and Watford won’t be fearing Arsenal in midfield even if Granit Xhaka passes the fitness test.
Long story short, 11/10 is too short for a side that has only managed to beat Huddersfield and Blackpool in their last 12 away games, and Watford can fancy their chances here. This should also be a game with plenty of attacking endeavour – each of Watford’s last eight matches in all competitions have featured over 2.5 goals – and it might be that goals give us the value.
Watford v Arsenal
20:00 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
SEP 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-0 Watford
MAR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 3-0 Watford
OCT 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Watford 2-1 Arsenal
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 1-2 Watford
AUG 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Watford 1-3 Arsenal
APR 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 4-0 Watford
MAR 2016 FA CUP Arsenal 1-2 Watford
OCT 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Watford 0-3 Arsenal
DEC 2006 PREMIERSHIP Watford 1-2 Arsenal
OCT 2006 PREMIERSHIP Arsenal 3-0 Watford
The special offered for ‘Over 2.5 goals, over 11.5 corners and over 3.5 cards’ in the match is an interesting one – Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Everton saw the home side force nine corners of their own whilst Arsenal had six – and there were five cards too. The 10/1 offered on Watford winning 2-1 looks like a correct score which could be a live runner.
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