MX23RW : Friday, August 7 08:39:25| >> :60:61:61:
Jul 26, 2020 at 4pm UK at Emirates Stadium
ArsenalArsenal
3-2
WatfordWatford
Aubameyang (5' pen., 33'), Tierney (24')
Xhaka (45'), Holding (72'), Martinez (74')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Deeney (43' pen.), Welbeck (66')
Pereyra (35'), Hughes (45+4'), Dawson (51')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Watford, including team news and predicted lineups.

Watford head into Sunday's Premier League clash with Arsenal knowing that they will likely need at least a point to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

The managerless Hornets are in the bottom three heading into the final round of fixtures, behind 17th-placed Aston Villa on goal difference, while Arsenal are 10th and have one eye on next weekend's FA Cup final.


Match preview

Watford manager Hayden Mullins pictured on July 21, 2020© Reuters

Watford's destiny is no longer in their own hands following a dramatic round of midweek action that saw Villa stun Arsenal 1-0, shortly after Watford had crashed 4-0 to Manchester City.

Losing heavily to City is something that the Hornets have become accustomed to in recent times, and this latest thrashing - two days after Nigel Pearson was surprisingly dismissed - has left them requiring snookers if they are to dodge the drop.

Villa travel to West Ham United on the final day - the Hammers having secured their place in the top flight for another year on Wednesday - with a victory of any sort surely being enough to keep them up thanks to their slightly superior goal difference.

Watford have to better the Villans' result against West Ham, with goal difference possibly coming into the mix, and the Hornets are currently one goal worse off than Villa in that regard.

It is not out of the question that a third deciding factor will have to be used to separate the sides, which is goals scored - a deficit Watford, six goals worse off than Villa, are unlikely to make up.

The target for interim boss Hayden Mullins will be coming away from the Emirates Stadium with all three points, though Watford have not won on the final day of the season since 2011-12 when in the Championship.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action for Arsenal on July 21, 2020© Reuters

This fixture is perhaps not as daunting on the face of it as it may seem, however, even if Watford have only won two of their last nine games since an incredible 3-0 win over Liverpool on February 29.

That is largely down to the fact that Arsenal have little to play for on the final weekend, with eighth place now the best they can hope for after the 1-0 loss to Villa in midweek.

Not since 1983 have they lost back-to-back matches against teams in the relegation zone, though, and Mikel Arteta will no doubt want to finish a disappointing Premier League campaign on a relative high.

The following weekend's FA Cup final against Chelsea provides Arsenal with an opportunity to salvage something from a disappointing 2019-20 campaign, and they will not want to go into that game on the back of successive league losses.

While Watford have struggled on the final day of the season down the years, the Gunners are unbeaten in their last 14 such matches, winning the last eight in a row.

Indeed, not since 1992-93, when going down 3-1 to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur, have they lost their final game of the season on home soil.

Arsenal's Premier League form: WWDLWL
Arsenal's form (all competitions) WDLWWL

Watford's Premier League form: LLWWLL


Team News

Mesut Ozil pictured on June 25, 2020© Reuters

Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil have been completely shut out by Arteta in recent weeks and that is likely to continue this weekend.

The Gunners also have plenty of players ruled out through injury, with Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli and Shkodran Mustafi all out, while Reiss Nelson is a fitness doubt.

Given there is a six-day break between this game and the FA Cup final, it makes sense for Arteta to named his strongest possible lineup on Sunday, likely meaning a return to a 3-4-3 system.

Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four goals in his four Premier League games against Watford, though three of those strikes have come at Vicarage Road.

As for Watford, they remain without Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat, Isaac Success and Etienne Capoue.

Mullins has no fresh injury or suspension concerns on the back of the loss to Man City, but he may well elect to make changes in certain areas.

Nathaniel Chalobah and Danny Welbeck were brought off the bench against City and are in strong contention for recalls here.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Mariappa, Kabasele, Dawson, Masina; Doucoure, Chalobah, Hughes; Sarr, Deeney, Welbeck


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Arsenal 2-1 Watford

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, this will be Arsenal's worst top-flight campaign since 1995. Watford will have to target all three points at the Emirates Stadium, knowing that Villa have the easier of the concluding fixtures, but the Gunners have a pretty formidable record on the final day and we can see them extending that winning run here.


ID:407768:

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting .. draw .. in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.R:data

Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Watford?

Arsenal
Draw
Watford
Arsenal
76.5%
Draw
12.0%
Watford
11.5%
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Watford manager Hayden Mullins pictured on July 21, 2020
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Hayden Mullins urges Watford to focus on themselves ahead of final day
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea382061269541566
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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