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    Watford v Arsenal: Match Preview

    By Alex Easley
    Quique Sanchez Flores' Watford side host Arsenal on Saturday evening.
    Watford host Arsenal on Saturday night as the Gunners aim to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City.

    With City in action earlier in the day, Arsene Wenger’s side could see themselves five points below top spot come 5.30pm.

    Arsenal went into the recent international break full of confidence after they beat Manchester United 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium, following that disappointing home defeat to Olympiakos in the Champions League.

    Watford, meanwhile, have shown they are no pushovers and have England’s top scorer in 2015 in Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo.

    The Hornets have lost just once at Vicarage Road this season, which was a 1-0 defeat thanks to a Yohan Cabaye penalty against Crystal Palace.
    Watford striker Odion Ighalo is the top scorer for English leagues in 2015 with 21.

    Watford have been boosted by the news that Valon Behrami, Ikechi Anya and Allan Nyom have all returned to training this week and should be available for selection.

    Quique Sanchez Flores is also hopeful over Jose Manuel Jurado, whom he expects to return from a hamstring injury in "maybe a week and a half".

    Arsene Wenger will check on the fitness of Alexis Sanchez following his return from Chile duty.

    Arsenal could be boosted by the return of centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who has been out since the end of September with a hamstring injury, while midfielders Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are also in contention for Saturday's late kick-off.

    But England duo Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck, meanwhile, continue their rehabilitation following leg and knee surgery respectively.

    Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores said this week: I'm not scared about [losing] Ighalo. I'm happy with him and not thinking about what might happen in the winter market.

    "He had the chance to go out in the summer but decided to stay here and that was an amazing decision. When a player plays well the value changes to buy him. But we now think Ighalo is our most important player, he is very happy and can play in different positions."

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "We are now equipped around the whole team to say we are really advanced in the way we work, prepare and develop players. I know you want to ask me if we will win the championship this year?

    "I think we are back in contention and we have a good chance. All of our numbers confirm that we have the potential to be in the fight."
    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side are back in title contention.

    Arsenal have won all four Premier League meetings - most recently a 2-1 win at Watford on Boxing Day in 2006.

    The Hornets' last win over Arsenal came at Highbury in April 1988.

    There has only been one draw in their 21 meetings.


    Watford are the Premier League's lowest scorers at home with one goal in four matches.

    Their four home league matches have featured just two goals in total, compared to 11 goals in four away fixtures,

    They have only conceded three goals in their last six top-flight home matches.

    Watford have never won a Premier League game in October (D4, L5).

    Odion Ighalo has scored Watford's last five Premier League goals. He now has 21 goals in 26 league games in 2015, more than any other player in the top four divisions.


    Arsenal have won three of their four away league games this season.

    Theo Walcott has scored 12 goals and assisted three in his last 14 Premier League starts.

    Alexis Sanchez has scored five goals in his last two Premier League games, more than he had managed in his previous 21.

    Among goalkeepers to have made a minimum of five saves, Petr Cech has the best Premier League save percentage this season (82%).

    K.O. Saturday 17th October 5.30pm (UK)
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    Item Reviewed: Watford v Arsenal: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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