Preview: Arsenal v Watford

Arsenal will look to continue their impressive early-season form at home to Watford on Saturday.

Premier League
Date: 29 September 2018
Game week 7
Kick-off: 15:00 local time/21:00 HKT
Venue: London Stadium

Head-to-head summary

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Arsenal 23 11 1 11
Watford 23 11 1 11

Previous encounter

Arsenal 3-0 Watford 11/03/2018 (Premier League)

Players to watch

Alexandre Lacazette appears to have found some goalscoring form for the Gunners this season. While numerous players including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck have all contributed with key strikes in games, Lacazette will be the target man against an unpredictable Watford side this weekend.

Roberto Pereyra started the season like a house on fire with three goals in three games, although since then the Hornet’s goals have come from a number of outlets including a revitalised Troy Deeney and Andre Gray.

Team form and manager quotes

The Gunners come into this game in sixth place with 12 points, having won six games in succession in all competitions, last beating Everton 2-0 in the league and Brentford 3-1 in the League Cup.

Watford are two places and one point better off than Arsenal after six games. They won five games in row, but have stumbled of late, losing 2-1 to Manchester United, drawing 1-1 with Fulham ahead of a 4-2 defeat to Tottenham in the League Cup on Wednesday.

Ahead of the game, Arsenal boss Unai Emery said: “Each match gives us the opportunity to take more confidence.

“We are winning, I think the confidence is the best on our individual players and also on our collective work.

“But every match is one challenge to show and to give, to find our best moment and best performance. Each player is thinking well, but also we need more.”

Watford manager Javi Gracia said: “Unai was a teammate of mine, at Real Sociedad. I have a friendship with him.

“Before coming, I spoke to him about here. We’ve met up. With Unai, everybody knows he’s a great coach, the stuff he did in Spain. Even with Paris Saint-Germain, he won a lot of competitions. He’s done it everywhere, and he’ll succeed here. I’m not sure how much time he’ll need, but I’m certain Arsenal will be a success.”

Team news

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is fit after a dead leg while Emile Smith Rowe faces a fitness test on his hip.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is out as he recovers from a fracture to his left fibula. Dinos Mavropanos (groin), and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) are also all sidelined.

For Watford, Daryl Janmaat is out for six weeks following knee surgery but Christian Kabasele is available after his recent red card was rescinded.

Troy Deeney could play despite suffering ankle ligament damage against Fuham.

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