Predicted Arsenal XI vs. Watford: Match preview as Gunners seek to keep heat on title rivals

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Arsenal are fast running out of matches to overhaul Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur and end their 12-year wait for a league title.

They host Watford on Saturday, in a match which surely must be considered a ‘must-win’ for Arsene Wenger’s troops. The Gunners begin the weekend on 55 points after 30 matches, six behind second-place Spurs and a whopping 11 points behind Claudio Ranieri’s unlikely leaders having played a game fewer than either of their title rivals.

Watford aren’t truly getting the credit they deserve for establishing themselves safely in mid-table on their first season back in the EPL.

However, their performances have dropped off in recent weeks, and the Gunners will surely be confident of returning from the international break with a win.

Predicted Arsenal XI

Wenger may have to do without his keeper Petr Cech, with The Guardian noting that the veteran stopper is a doubt with a calf injury. Should the ex-Chelsea stopper miss out, David Ospina will take his place between the sticks.

The back four will likely see Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny flanked by Hector Bellerin and either Kieran Gibbs or Ignacio Monreal.

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In midfielder, Wenger will likely opt for his two-man shield of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny, while injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere should ensure that Wenger opts for an attacking quartet of Danny Welbeck, supported by Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil.

 

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