Arsenal has won two Premier League games and three in all competitions since drawing with Crystal Palace a few weeks ago. They’ve also gone nine games without losing.
With Liverpool on the horizon following the international break, Mikel Arteta must guarantee that his side maintains their winning streak.
Arsenal must gather momentum in order to have a chance at Anfield, and they must do so immediately in order not to drop points against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Watford are remained in dismal form under new manager Claudio Ranieri, despite a stunning win against Everton the week before last. They were hammered 5-0 by Liverpool then lost 1-0 to Southampton at home over the weekend. Arsenal must win by three goals.
With that in mind, and because he doesn’t have any other games to focus on, Arteta should go all out on Sunday. Here’s how we think Arsenal will line up against Watford.
Aaron Ramsdale will get the start in goal, as he continues to gain popularity and clean sheets. With Arsenal, he has five clean sheets in eight games, which is more than he has goals against (four). Bernd Leno will have to wait for another chance to return.
The majority of Arsenal’s back four is expected to stay the same, with Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White starting at centre-back and Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back.
Due to an injury, Kierney has missed the last two games, but Nuno Tavares has filled in admirably. Tierney will almost certainly return if he is fit, but given we have a capable back-up in Tavares, there is no reason to rush him back, therefore we give Tavares the nod at left-back.
It’s difficult to see many changes here. In the sitting midfield positions, Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga work well together, and Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe continue to excel in the wide areas.
At the meantime, that comes at the expense of Martin Odegaard starting, however his spot in the team is arguably taken by Alexandre Lacazette rather than one of the midfielders.
When Arteta wants to change formation and add another body in midfield, we saw against Leicester that Lacazette for Odegaard is the ideal switch.
It appears likely that we’ll see more of this in the coming weeks, with only one of the two engaged in the lineup depending on the manager’s system.
As previously said, Lacazette is likely to continue his run of starts in Arsenal’s new formation, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang playing alongside him as normal.
They’ve worked well together in possession, and they’re both working hard right now. While this is the case, it will be difficult for any of the young forward alternatives to break in.
ARSENAL PREDICTED STARTING XI