Football Previews

Watford v Arsenal preview, predictions & possible XIs | Premier League

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:33, 15 September 2019

The Premier League returns this weekend after the international break, with Arsenal travelling to Watford on Sunday afternoon.

After victories in their opening two games, Arsenal have failed to win their past two, losing to Liverpool before drawing with Tottenham Hotspur.

Sunday kicks off a busy period now for the Gunners, where they will play five games in 15 days, spread across three different competitions as the Europa League and Carabao Cup third round get going.

But they will undoubtedly fancy their chances against a Watford side bottom of the table and about to embark on life under the returning Quique Sanchez Flores, following Javi Gracia’s sacking last weekend.

The Hornets have gathered just one point from their opening four games and face a tricky few weeks, with fixtures against Manchester City and Wolves following on from the Arsenal clash.

Read on for our predictions, key players, TV info and team news ahead of Watford vs Arsenal.

When is Watford v Arsenal and where can I watch live?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Vicarage Road

Date: Sunday, 15 September

Kick-off: 4:30 PM BST

TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League

Last five meetings: Watford v Arsenal

15 April 2019: Watford 0-1 Arsenal

29 September 2018: Arsenal 2-0 Watford

11 March 2018: Arsenal 3-0 Watford

14 October 2017: Watford 2-1 Arsenal

31 Jan 2017: Arsenal 1-2 Watford

Aggregate score: Watford (LLLWW) 4-8 Arsenal (WWWLL)

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Ones to watch

Watford: Craig Dawson

The return of Flores should help to shore up Watford’s back line, with the Spaniard known for his defence-favouring style of play. One player who could thrive under this management is summer signing Craig Dawson. The 29-year-old has made the joint-most clearances for Watford in the Premier League this season with 16 and will undoubtedly be at the heart of Flores’ back four starting against Arsenal at the weekend.

Key stat: Craig Dawson (3) has made more blocks than any other Watford player in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe has been a breath of fresh air for the Arsenal attack this season, though he is yet to score in four appearances – despite taking a club-high nine shots. That could all change against Watford on Sunday should he be given free rein on the Hornets’ defence. As well as testing his shooting, Pepe has also completed more take-ons than any other player this season, with a league-high 15.

Key stat: Nicolas Pepe (6) has created more chances than any other Arsenal player in the Premier League this season.

Team news


With a new manager, there is every chance we could see a different Watford side from the one that earned a point against Newcastle before the international break. On top of any tactical change, Etienne Capoue should return after missing the Newcastle draw through illness, but Troy Deeney remains unavailable.

Predicted XI: Foster; Janmaat, Dawson, Cathcart, Femenia; Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes; Deulofeu; Gray, Welbeck.


Arsenal will be boosted by the news that Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe will all be available for selection after picking up knocks during the international break. The Gunners will also be able to call upon Rob Holding, who is back in full training, though Sunday is too early for Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Predicted XI: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ceballos; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Squawka Prediction

For some teams, the arrival of a new manager following a sacking brings an immediate bounce. But this Watford side just don’t look capable of that, and certainly not against one of the Premier League’s bigger teams. Arsenal may make it tough for themselves, but it should be an away win.

Scoreline prediction: Watford 0-2 Arsenal