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June 2021

Watford v Arsenal. High alert, score predictions, who passes most, and the squad

by Bulldog Drummond

For a year or two now I have been reading about clubs being on “High Alert”.  Apparently at the moment Manchester City are on “High Alert” because they might be able to buy Alexis in January.  For a year or two now I have been reading about clubs being on “High Alert”.  Apparently at the moment Manchester City are on “High Alert” because they might be able to buy Alexis in January. For “High Alert” to have any meaning it must have an opposite – which I suppose in “Slumbering”, and seemingly not very newsworthy.  Also there must be a “Medium Alert” and a “Moderate Sized Alert” and a “Low Alert” although we never hear of them.

But was does it mean?   A team of people sitting around a phone 24 hours a day in case a call comes in?  Someone watching for emails and checking a mobile all day long?  All definitions welcome.

Anyway back in the real world, we are playing Watford, and after having had 10 days of non-stop injury warnings, we can now see just what sort of state of disrepair we have in the two clubs both of whom are now in the top 10, Watford slightly outdoing Arsenal.

Pos Teams Men down Last man down What he got
1 Everton 7 A Lennon Muscle Injury
2 Crystal Palace 6 W Hennessey Knock
3 Manchester United 6 M Fellaini MCL Knee Ligament Injury
4 Huddersfield Town 6 M Hefele Achilles Injury
5 Watford 6 I Success Knee Injury
6 Bournemouth 6 B Smith Hip Injury
7 Arsenal 5 S Kolasinac Hip Injury
8 Newcastle United 5 J Shelvey Thumb/Wrist Injury
9 Leicester City 5 J Vardy Groin Injury
10 Stoke City 4 J Allen Concussion

As always I take this data from physioroom, and I have been thinking it is a great shame that there is not another column showing how the injury was caused.  “Wild lunge from…”, would be one example of what we might see in that extra column.  So we would begin to see now only who was injured but which players cause the injuries.

Arsenal’s detailed situation is

Player What happened When was it Any chance?
S Kolasinac Hip Injury October 14, 2017 Late Fitness Test
S Mustafi Thigh Strain November 18, 2017 No
L Koscielny Achilles Injury October 14, 2017 Late Fitness Test
C Chambers Hip Injury October 28, 2017 No
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury No Return Date No

Stories from other sources give us Kolasinac and Koscielny being ok to play, so the ranking could be a lot better.

Let’s have a look of what Watford have been doing of late…

Date Match Res Score Competition
12 Aug Watford v Liverpool D 3-3 Premier League
19 Aug AFC Bournemouth v Watford W 0-2 Premier League
22 Aug Watford v Bristol City L 2-3 League Cup
26 Aug Watford v Brighton and Hove Albion D 0-0 Premier League
09 Sep Southampton v Watford W 0-2 Premier League
16 Sep Watford v Manchester City L 0-6 Premier League
23 Sep Swansea City v Watford W 1-2 Premier League
30 Sep West Bromwich Albion v Watford D 2-2 Premier League

It has been a fairly regular rotation of loss / draw / win – not an exact pattern, but enough to suggest that the next game ought to be a defeat.  On the other hand a 0-6 defeat in the last game on their own patch is an feeling they will want to eradicate as soon as possible.

If we have a look at touches of the ball, we can be seen to be way ahead…

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Rank Club Stat
Manchester City
 Tottenham Hotspur
 Manchester United
 AFC Bournemouth
 Huddersfield Town
 Swansea City

In terms of yellow cards, both clubs are pretty much at the foot of the table with eight each.  Stoke (!!!!) are the lowest with seven!

Looking at the number of passes per game, the difference between the two clubs is overwhelmingly obvious.  Arsenal have made 4317, Watford are on 2748.  These are the sort of difference that appear all the way through the rest of the statistics.  On shots for example Arsenal are ahead 122 to 78.  Even on such a defensive stance as tackles they are behind Arsenal (although not by nearly so much).

So, what else do we know?  Well, Arsenal haven’t conceded a goal in the Premier League since letting in four against Liverpool,

Watford, meanwhile, despite their poor home form, have made their best start to a Premier League season after seven games (12 points). The last time they made a better start was in 1982-83 under Graham Taylor (15 points).

Looking at all the data, it is not surprising Bookmakers such as seem to favour Arsenal as the winner of this match.   The BBC on their site are predicting a 0-2 win for us.   101 Great Goals goes for Watford 1 Arsenal 2 which is the same as Sky Sports.

Stories from other sources give us Kolasinac and Koscielny being ok to play, so the ranking could be a lot better.

Looking at the players available the squad will be chosen from among these players. Someone however is going to miss out.

Cech, Ospina, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Holding, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Wilshire, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez, Welbeck, Lacazette, Giroud.

More tomorrow.

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6 comments to Watford v Arsenal. High alert, score predictions, who passes most, and the squad

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    To prevent the Achilles & the hip injuries hit which Koscielny & Kolasinac both picked up while playing in international games this week from escalating to become long term if they are so soon started in our away Watford PL game on Saturday and their injuries reoccure in a match which is likely to be of high energy sap consume starting game, I am seriously of the opinion Le Prof should leave out both Koscielny and Kolasinac out of his starting XI lineup for the match but could have them both on his bench. So too are Ozil and Welbeck should both be left out of starting the match but be on the bench too. If Koscielny is left out from starting the match, Mertesacker is on hand and able to replace him in the back three. But to replace Kolasinac at the left wing back position is a bit of a problem for me. Because I am yet to identify another senior Gunner in the squad who is able to start in this position efficiently as Kolasinac does for Arsenal in a back three backline. Save, if I do some adjustments by trying replacing him in my own starts for the match.

    Now, will Le Prof helps Sanchez to start him in our Watford game to recover quickly from his mental depression, but if he’s physicality fit to start in the game after his return from the Chile last World Cup qualifying game away to Brazil in a match Sanchez failed to paddle the Chilean canoe carrying the Chilean World Cup national team on board to safety in the Sao Paolo’s sea on their ways to the Russia 2018 World Cup final games? But unfortunately had them all including himself drown in the sea. Which after pulling him out of the sea by emergency sea rescuers he’s left mentally depressed.

    My reshuffled 3-4-3 starts and bench:

    Holding Mertesacker Monreal
    Maitland Ramsey Xhaka Le Coq
    Bellerin Lacazette Sanchez.

    What an unparalleled potional playing switching for Coquelin as left wing back and Bellerin as a front right winger for this match I’ve done in my starting XI. Le Prof should please not entertain any fears whatsoever, rather, let him do it by starting them accordingly. It will pay a handsome dividend for Arsenal in terms of winning the match by 3 goals to nil as even Lawro of the BBC Sports has said.

    Ospina Koscielny Kolasinac Elneny Ozil Welbeck Giroud.

    Koscielny, Kolasinac, Ozil & Welbeck are all on the bench to further cement recovery in their injuries so as to be stronger to start in our EL Cup match away to Red Star and to Everton in the PL. These are 2 difficult games for which Arsenal should have some of their senior Gunners conserved energy to be able to start in the games efficiently.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think this could be quite a tough game, going for a third fought 2-1 victory.
    Not sure who the ref is for this

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Sorry! I’ve made a big mistake in my starting XI for this match by omitting Iwobi from my starting lineup for this our Watford away PL game. So, let me quickly correct my starts as per below.

    Holding Mertesacker Monreal
    Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Le Coq
    Iwobi Lacazette Sanchez.

    I don’t know how my memory skipped Iwobi from starting this match who for his ability to cross the ball under pressure from his marker from the right corner byline to lift the ball very high in the Zambian box in the last NGR vs ZAM WC qualifying match which I watched and he impressed me that led me to have suggested in one of my comments posting that he should henceforth be allowed to be taking corner kicks from the right side for Arsenal when the Arsenal all corner kicks specialist, Ozil is not on the field. Sorry Iwobi, my earlier omitting you in my starts is an error. You should start this match to continue your partnership with Sanchez to score goals for Arsenal. Consequently, Maitland-Niles is out of my starting lineup and my 18 Gunners for this our Watford game and I’ve returned Bellerin to his usual right wing back starting role in my starts for this match. But I still starting Coquelin as left wing back in the match to replace Kolasinac who I’ve benched to further recover from his hip injury despite Koscielny and him being passed okay to play in the match by the Arsenal medical according to media reports.

  • Pat

    I like that idea, Tony, another column saying how the injury was caused! Can’t see it happening though, it would probably be too revealing and pose too many awkward questions. For the referees, apart from anyone else.

  • Great xi, iwobi, good to start

  • colario

    Pat I think you are on to something here.

    What if You Tube was not only filled with ‘great goals’ ‘freak goals’ and alike?

    What if we had videos showing how players were injured?

    That could be interesting!