Watford vs Arsenal
Premier League 2018-19
Venue: Vicarage Road
Kick-off time: 8:00pm GMT, tonight
Arsenal will attempt to bounce back from their woeful defeat at Everton and stay in the thick of the crowded race for a top-four finish as they return to Premier League action against Watford tonight.
Chelsea’s defeat at Liverpool on Sunday means victory for the Gunners tonight will see them move up to fourth in the table, just one point behind rivals Tottenham.
Unai Emery’s side returned to form with a dominant Europa League quarter-final first-leg victory over Napoli on Thursday and now come up against a Watford team riding high after reaching their first FA Cup final since 1984 with a thrilling extra-time comeback win over Wolves at Wembley.
The Hornets, currently 10th with games in hand, are battling with the likes of Everton, Leicester, Wolves and West Ham for ‘the best of the rest’ title and a seventh-place finish.
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86 mins: A third and final change from Watford.
Masina makes way for Ken Sema.
82 mins: Another wasted free-kick from Watford as Janmaat’s cross is headed away powerfully by Xhaka.
Time is running out for the 10-man Hornets.
80 mins: The ball falls rather fortuitously for Gray, who rounds Leno but is denied by a great last-ditch block from Maitland-Niles.
Terrific defending from the substitute.
78 mins: A curling shot from Xhaka lacks the requisite power and is simple enough for Foster.
At the other end, Mustafi is too physical with Success and gives away the free-kick.
However, Masina’s delivery is far too close to Leno. What a waste.
76 mins: Koscielny lands very awkwardly indeed after an aerial tussle with Success and stays down for a moment.
It looks like he will be fine to continue. Arsenal have already used all three substitutes of course.
74 mins: This time Aubameyang does connect with a low Mkhitaryan cross into the six-yard box but his effort flies wide of Foster’s left-hand post.
73 mins: Success beats Xhaka all ends up but his final ball is underwhelming and easily dealt with by Koscielny.
Arsenal are playing with four at the back again here as they look to secure only their second away win in 10 matches.
70 mins: Watford try to force the issue at one end before Arsenal break.
Iwobi gets into the box but is caught in two minds and a poor cross is booted clear by Cathcart.
65 mins: Ozil tries to produce a smart finish for Arsenal before the German fails to get on the end of a low cross from Mkhitaryan that was slightly overhit.
63 mins: Watford appear to be turning the screw a bit now and only a poor first touch from Gray ends their latest attack after a good low Janmaat pass.
62 mins: Masina strikes the woodwork!
Watford’s Moroccan-born Italian full-back watches a pass from Doucoure all the way and lashes a terrific effort that smashes against the crossbar.
What a fine goal that would have been.
61 mins: Not the finest display of shooting you’ve ever seen from Mkhitaryan.
His latest strike is no better than the second and sails high into the stand.
58 mins: Mkhitaryan links up nicely with Ozil before slicing his latest shot horribly wide.
57 mins: Arsenal break with an extra man through Iwobi, who provides a perfect ball for Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian looks certain to double the Gunners’ lead, only for Foster to make a stellar save.
53 mins: Iwobi stands up Janmaat and flashes in a dangerous cross that is just too pacey for Aubameyang.
50 mins: Arsenal probe for an opening early in this second half.
Doucoure does well to thwart both Ramsey and Iwobi.
Watford vs Arsenal team news and predicted line-ups
Watford are without Gerard Deulofeu, Jose Holebas (hamstring), Domingos Quina (shoulder),Tom Cleverley (calf) for this one.
Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka returns for Arsenal after a groin strain.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos begins a two-match domestic suspension after he collected his 10th yellow card of the season on Merseyside, while long-term absentees Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck are all still out.
Confirmed team line-ups
Watford XI: Foster, Janmaat, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina, Femenia, Capoue, Doucoure, Hughes, Deeney, Gray
Arsenal XI: Leno, Mustafi, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Iwobi, Aubameyang
Score prediction: Watford 1-1 Arsenal
Monday’s game sees two good friends and former team-mates – Javi Gracia and Unai Emery – pit their wits against one another for the second time in English football.
Watford are enjoying a terrific season and will still be basking in the glow of their semi-final win, while Arsenal are yet to keep an away clean sheet in the Premier League this season.
Providing it does not turn out to be all a bit ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’, the hosts should be able to bag a valuable point.
TV channel and live stream, and online coverage
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports’ Premier League and Main Event channels, and is available via Now TV with a day pass on offer for £8.99.
Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via SkyGo and the SkyGo app.
Head to Head history and results (h2h)
This will be the 12th top-flight meeting between the sides in the Premier League era. Arsenal currently boast nine wins to Watford’s two, with no draws.
In September, the Gunners won 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium courtesy of a late Craig Cathcart own goal and side-footed effort from Mesut Ozil.