Watford vs Arsenal preview, betting tips and prediction: Gunners' star quality to prove the difference at Vicarage RoadPublished October 11, 2017
Arsenal to win and Alexandre Lacazette to score @ 7/2 with Betfair
The draw @ 16/5 with Betfair
Arsenal to with and BTTS @ 21/10 with Betfair
Few people expected the impact Marco Silva has had on Watford so far this season, despite his heroic work by nearly saving a seemingly doomed Hull City side from relegation last season. The Portuguese is clearly one of the brightest young coaches around, and the Hornets’ start to the campaign has backed that up.
They face Arsenal having lost just once this season. It came at home to Manchester City, who beat them 6-0, but other than that game, Watford have looked impressive. The Gunners have strong firepower up front in Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, but the former two are yet to show their best form amid talk of moves away as they enter the final months of their contracts, and the latter is yet to score away from home. Possession will be dominated by the visitors, but they will hope for space in behind the defence for their star trident to have a real impact. Silva will demand his team keeps organised with a good shape, and they have enough quality, notably with the growing partnership of Richarlison and Andre Gray, to hurt Arsenal and perhaps take something from the game. The visitors have been known to struggle in these games in the past, notably losing to Stoke, and backing a draw or even a home win may be worth it for some of the long odds being touted around.
But statistics and records are there to be broken, and Lacazette will believe this game is the game for him to score on the road for the first time. Victory could take Arsenal into the Champions League places, but they will need to match the physicality of Watford, who will thrive on the counter attack. It could be a very interesting game, but if they have the right attitude and fight as their hosts, Arsenal should come out on top as they have the superior quality, but they may have to be patient and they may concede.
Key battle: Alexis Sanchez vs Kiko Femenia
Sanchez is still building up to his best since returning for Arsenal, but his goal for Chile in the international break will have helped no end. The 28-year-old will start on the left of midfield, but has the freedom to cut inside and join attacks as both instigator and finisher. Femenia has been very good for Watford in the early days of his Premier League career, but he must be careful not to let Sanchez run wild against him.
Keeping Alexis Sanchez quiet will be the first building block to a good evening for Watford and that starts with Kiko Femenia.