EPL Preview: Arsenal vs Watford, Gunners hopes to take advantage of Chelsea – Liverpool’s derby


Arsene Wenger’s Gunners sit eight points behind Chelsea with 16 games remaining, and need Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to do them a favour and beat Antonio Conte’s league leaders to open up the title race.

Arsenal must overcome Walter Mazzarri’s Watford in a London derby at Emirates Stadium to put pressure on the Blues, and the Hornets are winless in seven league games.JS118572927-wenger-sport-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bqkb44VT-OotrPhmjqpIDF-g4ctnzAs0W6vYmlY1S5HCE

Wenger will be serving the second game of his four-match touchline ban against Watford, but with a trip to Stamford Bridge up next for the Gunners, Arsenal do not their coach on the sidelines to remind them that Tuesday’s encounter could be an important stepping stone to a potentially decisive title clash this weekend.

With Liverpool and Chelsea facing off on Tuesday night, Arsenal will be looking to capitalise on any potential slip-ups from their Premier League rivals as they welcome Watford at the Emirates Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 7:45pm GMT today, Tuesday, January 31.

skysports-theo-walcott-arsenal-swansea-emirates-premier-league-football_3809244 Arsenal forward Theo Walcott could make his first league appearance for six weeks after scoring a hat-trick on his comeback from a calf problem in the FA Cup win at Southampton.

Danny Welbeck is unlikely to be risked from the start, while Granit Xhaka is still suspended.

Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is out with a leg injury and Jose Holebas and Mauro Zarate are serving bans.

PhotoGrid_1485854725760“Watford’s new signings M’Baye Niang and Mauro Zarate can sparkle on their day but are they the right sort of player to untangle the Hornets from a relegation web?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the strength of his squad: “I believe that number-wise and quality-wise, we have what is required to do well.

images (96)“We are not in need of buying. On a general front it has been very quiet [in the transfer window]. That shows that there are not many players available who can strengthen English teams.

“It also shows that all the teams in England, especially the big teams, have big squads. That’s why not a lot happened.”

Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri on the weekend FA Cup exit compounding recent poor form: “We have to react immediately.

“When you don’t win, of course you always reflect on different possibilities.images

“Due to our situation, given injuries and that there are just two days until the next game, the manager makes the decision of putting the best possible team out in that moment.”

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Watford

Arsenal have won their last seven league matches against Watford, scoring 19 goals. However, Watford beat the Gunners 2-1 at the Emirates in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final tie.

The Gunners have won five successive home matches in the Premier League and are unbeaten in 10 at the Emirates Stadium since losing to Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season.

Alexis Sanchez has scored in all three of his Premier League appearances against Watford.Arsenal v Stoke City - Premier League

Watford are enduring a seven-game winless run in the Premier League (D3, L4). They failed to score in four of those games.

Heurelho Gomes has conceded 23 goals in eight Premier League games against Arsenal, nine more than any other team he has faced.

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Sport writer based in lagos. Cool and easy going guy, like meeting and influencing the lives of people positively. Fun loving and takes life easy. You can follow me on twitter @Emmycool4u or www.Facebook.com/Emmy4real

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