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Watford will welcome fifth-placed Arsenal on Saturday as they hope to bring an end to the Gunners’ four-game unbeaten run.
Expectations are high after Marco Silva recruited heavily this summer. Add to that the Hornets’ strong start to the campaign, and you have a high-octane match ahead. Watford are currently 8th in the table, even though they are just a point behind Arsenal, which means that they are more than capable of making things tough for the visitors.
Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah faces a spell on the sidelines after it was confirmed he needed surgery on his knee. Younes Kaboul is working his way back from a hamstring problem, while Craig Cathcart and forward Mauro Zarate continue their recovery from knee problems.
Possibly one of the most underrated goalkeepers, Gomes has been a rock in front of the net for Watford, and should be handed a start against Arsenal.
Femenia has been a daunting presence for Watford at right-back. He will retain his spot and it will be interesting to see how he fares against the powers of Alexandre Lacazette.
Next to Femenia should be Mariappa in the centre. The player will be tasked with most of the defensive responsibility.
Mariappa’s partner, Kabasele has been quite strong. He has a solid partnership with his fellow central defender, and the duo will have to be in top-notch form to restrict the Gunners.
Completing the line will be Holebas. Often, there have been complaints about how he has not been up to the mark but the player will be keen on proving a point against Arsenal.
Doucoure will have to face the brunt of the Arsenal attack on the left side. He will receive enough support from Holebas but the player will have to ensure the visitors endure a tough time to get near the net.
Next to Doucoure, Capoue will have to bear a lot of responsibility on the right-hand side. The player is adept at linking defence with attack, and it is something that will be vital when going forward.
Much of the onus will be on Carrillo on the right to attack a seemingly shaky Gunners defence, in order to create as many chances as possible.
As an attacking midfielder, Cleverley will have to ensure he puts up an incisive yet sharp display against Arsenal, while also providing support for Deeney.
Richarlison has proven to be a dependable figure for Watford, time and again. He should do the same on Saturday.
Spearheading the Watford attack against a Gunners side will not be an easy task but Deeney has the skill and pace to launch a strong challenge.