With Watford strong at home and Arsenal suffering a bout of travel sickness, Paul Higham is going for the Hornets on Monday Night Football.
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Watford v Arsenal (2000 BST – Sky Sports Premier League)
The fixtures Gods haven’t done the Gunners any favours with this game being selected for Monday Night Football when they have a trip to Naples coming up on Thursday in the Europa League.
Although they enjoyed a 2-0 win against Napoli last Thursday, their poor away form means they won't take that tie for granted and, given how close the race for the top four is, they can't afford to take their foot off the gas in domestic matters either.
Unai Emery has got the Gunners playing some superb football but there's no doubt that's mainly in the safe confines of the Emirates as in their last 12 away games they've only managed to beat Huddersfield and Blackpool - you can't argue against a label of travel sickness with a record like that.
The Hornets are on cloud nine after their epic FA Cup semi-final victory, and they've got a decent home record of late as they're unbeaten in six and have won their last four at Vicarage Road.
Javi Gracia's men can go seventh with a win and with the momentum and confidence at an all-time high after their cup exploits they'll be a difficult team for Arsenal to face and perhaps just the wrong time.
Watford 2-1 Arsenal (Sky Bet Odds: 10/1)
There's not been a draw in this fixture since 1984 and, while that run will end sometime, a flying home side are taken to edge it against an Arsenal side that just can't seem to get to grips with playing away from home under Emery. The Gunners do know how to score away from home and Watford have just two clean sheets in ten at home so both teams should score.
Best bet: Watford to beat Arsenal at 23/10
If you fancy a home team, with a decent home record then why not just take the decent odds on offer? Arsenal's top-six status mans they're favourites but their away record certainly doesn't suggest that they should be.
Goals: Troy Deeney to score anytime at 21/10
We've had a long, hard weekend so we'll keep this simple with the Watford skipper to bag a goal. Arsenal had all kinds of problems dealing with Dominic Calvert-Lewin's physical presence at Everton, so goo luck trying to keep a bigger, stronger version quiet. Plus he's also on the pens and Arsenal's defending around their own box is beyond questionable.
Watford v Arsenal - Opta stats
- Watford have lost four of their previous five home games against Arsenal in the Premier League, but did beat the Gunners in their most recent such encounter last season (2-1).
- Arsenal have not lost back-to-back away league games at Watford since a run of three straight defeats ending in November 1987.
- None of the 11 previous Premier League meetings between Watford and Arsenal have ended in a draw (nine wins for Arsenal, two for Watford); only four fixtures in the competiton have been played more often without ever sharing the spoils (Manchester United v Wigan (16), Aston Villa v Derby (14), Derby v Leicester (12) and Manchester United v Watford (12)).
- Watford have only won two of their 15 Premier League games when playing on a Monday (D5 L8); a 4-2 win over Portsmouth in April 2007 and a 4-1 victory against Chelsea in February 2018.
- Arsenal have won seven of their last eight Premier League games on a Monday, losing only against Crystal Palace in April 2017 in that run.
- Watford are unbeaten in their last five Premier League home games, winning the last three in a row (D2). They last won four in a row at Vicarage Road within the same top-flight season back in December 1986.
- Arsenal are yet to keep a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League this season (15 games). They last had a longer run without a clean sheet on the road in the top-flight between April 1984-February 1985 (16 games).
- Just one of Arsenal’s five Premier League away wins this season has come against a side starting the day higher than 16th place in the table, with the Gunners beating 8th placed Bournemouth 2-1 in November.
- Watford’s Troy Deeney has scored nine Premier League goals this season, only netting more in the 2015-16 (13) and 2016-17 (10) campaigns. He could become just the third player to score 10+ goals in three different top-flight seasons for the Hornets after Luther Blissett (3) and John Barnes (4).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s highest Premier League goalscorer this season with 17 goals. However, he’s not netted in any of his last five away from home since a goal at Brighton on Boxing Day.