Although Arsenal remain the bookmakers’ favourite, there’s little doubt of the challenge that awaits them, as Watford have been very impressive as of late. Their wins over Fulham, Crystal Palace and Wolves in recent weeks – both in and out of the Premier League – have been excellent examples of what they are capable of. These performances will have no doubt got the attention of even a top-tier side like Arsenal.
However, the Gunners didn’t gain their reputation by being easy to beat. And despite a recent loss to Everton, their victories in the Europa League and against the likes of Manchester United – a team Watford recently failed to beat – are a reminder of what the home team are up against here.
Watford vs Arsenal Prediction: Watford 1-2 Arsenal
It’s likely to be a bumpy ride for both teams regardless of the result. However, we do have to go with the Gunners as they most likely winners. They were sensational against Napoli in their last match, with many being disappointed that they only won by 2-0. On top of that, when you consider their historical advantage in matches with Watford, alongside their better overall Premier League season, we can’t come to any other conclusion. That said, it’s going to be tough, so our scoreline prediction is a tight 2-1 win for Arsenal.
Our recommended tip: Arsenal win
Currently sitting five places and 17 points ahead of their opponents in the Premier League standings, it’s no surprise that Arsenal are the bookmakers’ pick to win this contest. The away side enjoy a 43% win probability. Although, it should be a close one, as Watford aren’t far behind with a 31% win probability. Watford fans will be pleased to see that the home team do get good 2/1 match odds at Paddy Power. However, for your best chance of winning your wager, we recommend that you back the favourites here to get lower-risk 6/5 odds.
We’ve already mentioned the historical edge that Arsenal have here. However, it might not be by the margin that many imagine. The Gunners have won more matches than Watford in the century since they first met in 1906, but only by a handful. More relevant is the fact that two of these wins came in their most recent matches in 2018, where they won 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. Watford have dual wins to their name in 2017 – both ending 2-1 in their favour – but there’s little doubting that Arsenal have the advantage. It’s just perhaps not quite to the extent that some may have expected.
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Players to watch: Gerard Deulofeu & Aaron Ramsey
Watford: Gerard Deulofeu
While we think Arsenal are the probable victors here, Watford are certainly in with a fighting chance. And we think if they do pull off the upset here, it’s extremely likely that Gerard Deulofeu will be a big part of their success. He was absolutely sensational in their recent victories over Wolves and Crystal Palace: precise and a menace to any defence. He’ll be the one that Arsenal will be watching, so we suggest you do the same.
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey
Sensational midfielder Aaron Ramsey may be Juventus bound in the summer but he’s not quite finished with Arsenal yet. If fans were worried we would see lazy performances out of Ramsey due to the move, then his brilliant outing against Napoli proved not only that he intends to give his all to the very last game but exactly what Arsenal will be missing when he goes.