Watford host Arsenal on Monday Night Football as they look to keep pace in the battle for seventh. The Gunners are in the midst of a four-way contest for the remaining two Champions League places and face a tough test at Vicarage Road.
FA Cup semi-final victory last weekend was one of the best days in recent Watford history. It had the drama of a Hollywood film, largely down to a heroic cameo from Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu.
The former Barcelona man is a doubt for the visit of Arsenal, however, having come off with an injury in extra time at Wembley. Deulofeu to score in a home win at 5/1 is a standout price in this weekend’s Premier League betting.
Watford will be full of confidence after their comeback win. The fatigue of extra time will have faded in the eight days between that fixture and this one.
The Hornets are unbeaten in five home league matches and are looking to make it four wins on the bounce on Monday night.
Arsenal, in stark contrast, have had a torrid time on the road. Five wins in 15 Premier League away matches tells much of the story, and Unai Emery’s side put in a limp performance away to Everton last time out.
The Gunners are still looking for their first away clean sheet of the Premier League campaign. Both teams to score might be on the short side at 4/9, but it deserves consideration.
Watford’s 9/4 price to take all three points will get plenty of backing. Form of both teams suggests a home win, with Arsenal’s 57/50 to win not looking great value.
Emery’s side beat Napoli on Thursday night, putting in a complete team performance. Again, though, this was at the Emirates. Arsenal’s recent home record is superb.
While confidence can be taken from beating Partenopei, it’s hard to read too much into it. Arsenal have won just one away Premier League game since the start of December, and that was against Huddersfield.
For those backing a rare road victory for the Gunners, Alexandre Lacazette is a player to focus on. The Frenchman has been involved in six goals in his last seven Premier League outings.
Lacazette has 13 Premier League goals, more than Romelu Lukaku, Roberto Firmino and Heung-Min Son. He’s priced at 5/2 to score anytime in an Arsenal win.
This could end up being a crowded match in central midfield. Emery’s 3-5-2 and Javi Gracia’s 4-2-2-2 are narrow and will make it a challenge for the creators like Roberto Pereyra and Aaron Ramsey to find space centrally. The full-backs on both teams have key roles to play.
Jose Holebas has a niggling injury but is expected to be fit enough to start. 888’s player specials offer 4/1 on the Watford left-back to register an assist. Matching up with the out-of-position Ainsley Maitland-Niles, that looks a solid price.
This could be a very physical match, with Watford looking to target Arsenal’s defenders with long balls up to Troy Deeney.
Bookings are likely, with 9/4 on over 4.5 total cards a good price. Watford’s 43/20 to be shown over 2.5 cards is excellent value, too.
This has the potential to be one of the better Monday Night Football matches this season. Watford are the value team to back for victory but sitting on the fence with a 3/4 for the hosts to avoid defeat will get a lot of support.
Everyone knows how much Deeney likes playing against Arsenal. Watford will be up for this and have shown they can cause any side problems at Vicarage Road. The Hornets could deliver a brutal blow to Arsenal’s top four ambitions.
TIP: Watford to win @ 9/4
PREDICTION: Watford 2-1 Arsenal (Priced at 19/2 with 888sport)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*