EPL 2 years ago

Preview: Watford Vs Arsenal

  • Preview: Watford Vs Arsenal

    WATFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: General View of the stadium prior to kick off during the Premier League match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road on August 20, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

But for Laurent Koscielny’s heroics at the back, Arsenal could have had a number of jeers (if they don’t already), Wenger out calls (if they don’t already) and two defeats right in their bag in just the third week of the new season. Thankfully, Arsene Wenger took the gamble with Koscielny at the King Power Stadium, pairing him with the new signing Rob Holding as the two put in a defending masterclass to save the tourists a deserved point against a confident-looking Leicester City. 

The game could have swung either way, probably The Foxes’ way who had a few decent chances that should have been taken. Jamie Vardy had his moments, so did reported Arsenal target Riyad Mahrez and new arrival Ahmed Musa. Another day, Leicester City could have won that game as well as the two penalties they didn’t, thanks largely to the increasingly bemusing refereeing inconsistencies. 

Laconically put, Arsenal can consider themselves  a bit lucky having come away with a point even though they couldn’t manage to create much despite the 61% possession they had (add 13 shots to that). The Gunners must now quickly regroup for yet another tough fixture against Watford at the Vicarage Road in the hunt for opening their 'Win Account'.

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Sounds obvious when said, but Arsenal could face the same challenge against Watford as they did against Leicester – a team happy to be off the ball and play on the break especially when they have Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney up front. However, that may not be as big a worry as scoring goals might be, which is strange when Arsenal are the team being talked about.

In both their matches so far, Arsenal have struggled to find that focal point of their attack which is generally a certain Olivier Giroud.Could that mean this loathed, underrated and mocked Frenchman  finally starts to give Mesut Ozil and company something to direct their possession towards? The case better be so as Alexis has struggled in a striker’s role and it’s well-known how bad Theo Walcott can be in that position too. Don't be surprised to see Olivier Giroud net the opening goal from a set-piece. 

Even if it’s a risk, Arsene Wenger may have to take it. Arsenal are five points behind the league leaders already, so if a risk here promises a world of good, it is worth it. Surely, this isn’t the time to make a bad decision or sit back mulling over an injury there isn't to be. 


 “They were very efficient last year with the two strikers up front together, Ighalo and Deeney,” Wenger said. “One of the keys for us will be to keep them quiet.

“I rate Deeney because he’s a player who has technical quality first of all, but he’s also a fighter. To find a player who combines these two things is not easy.

“He’s very strong in the challenges, the duels, and in the link play as well. I was impressed by him last year.

“We need a first win after our game at Leicester. Of course the international break comes too soon because players go away with their national teams [and] are not ready yet to start for us yet in the Premier League, because we had to rest them as they’ve played in international games.

“Not everybody is up to speed completely. We still have some players who are a little bit behind.”

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