By Bulldog Drummond
What’s our prediction?
The Daily Telegraph predicts a 1-1 draw, as does the BBC. The Telegraph’s explanation is that “Given the strength of Watford’s squad – especially in a midfield that contains Roberto Pereyra, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue – they should be doing better than they are.”
Certainly Watford have been slowly improving. After winning their FA Cup semi final they then had a dire run losing to Arsenal, Wolverhampton, Chelsea and West Ham, just managing a 2-1 win against doomed Huddersfield.
And curiously that was much the same for us after getting through the Europa League quarter final. We beat Napoli away and then managed to lose against Palace, Wolverhampton and Leicester with all three teams getting three goals against us. Then we beat Valencia 3-1 in the semi-final. It looked to me like a clear case of the psychological effect.
Next it was the home draw with Brighton which we certainly would have won if not distracted by the Europa – and had we won it we would have been in the Champions League this season.
The difference is that Watford have carried on that pre-cup final way this season although they did did get their first point against Newcastle, so that could be signs of a recovery. Which is why I guess they go for 1-1, as coincidentally do the BBC.
As for Arsenal after the opening two wins we played two members of the top four from last season meaning 50% of our games have been against top four clubs, and 25% of our games against last season’s top for are now out of the way.
The game will of course be played out against a background of anti-Xhaka abuse, which continues apace, and can do nothing positive for the team. The disgraceful Transfer Tavern web site goes with “He needs booting’, ‘Must sell’ – These Arsenal fans slate 26 y/o ‘donkey’ after stat emerges.
But Squaka keeps Xhaka in its team giving us…
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac;
Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ceballos;
Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
To be fair to them the news of Lacazette’s injury had not been announced when their prediction appeared.
But to try and find team predictions one has wade through the mire of anti-Arsenal propaganda that swamps us every day. As with “Dimitar Berbatov makes Manchester United Europa League claim that will worry Arsenal fans.”
This of course is the constant Football.London anti-Arsenal barrage, and I would ask you to bear that headline in mind as you read what comes after…
“Former Manchester United and Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov has claimed that he believes United will go all out to win the Europa League this season.”
So, if you are an Arsenal fan (as seems quite likely given that you are reading Untold Arsenal), I must ask you here and now: are you worried by the fact that Berbatov says Man U will try and win the Europa League?
I suspect not: it is just more Football.London anti-Arsenal garbage, pumped out twice an hour, 24 hours a day.
For what it is worth FoLo go with the same team as Squaka, but Bergkampesque takes us to different territory with
Maitland-Niles Torreira Kolasinac
Other sites go very close to one of those two formats.
So, can we find any tactical statistics that haven’t been highlighted elsewhere? Well, actually yes, when it comes to offsides, because Arsenal have been caught offside more than any other club in the PL with 15 off sides, while Watford have been caught least with two.
There is little link between being caught offside and position in the league table: Manchester City are fourth in the offside league with 12, while Man U and Tottenham have four and Liverpool three.
Of course one can criticise a club for getting caught offside a lot, but some teams do play it tactically, regularly taking chances against a defence on the grounds that either they will strike luck and get a one on one with the keeper, or the tactic itself will push the defence into taking more risks until they get it wrong allowing the attacker to get through.
Elsewhere, the Daily Canon has an interesting comment on the referee. You may recall that we used to do referee analyses before each game, showing the propensity for the ref to favour certain teams. We stopped doing it regularly because everyone who wanted to look at the figures could find them and see what was going on.
But for this game the Daily Canon has taken up the theme writing under the headline “Worst ref appointed to Watford v Arsenal, saying,”Another Premier League game, another chance for Anthony Taylor to do something stupid, yes indeedy, the worst ref in the division will take charge of Arsenal’s game against Watford.”
So maybe we did have a bit of influence after all.
Anyway for me it looks like a 1-2 to Arsenal rather than a 1-1. Referee allowing.
- The stupidest thing said about Arsenal this week
- WSL North London Derby – reflections on the game at the Emirates
- Arsenal have not got the youngest team in the PL. Or have they?
- Arsenal are the most fouled team in the Premier League. Why?
- Partey setback, AFC man hauled off, new C Ronaldo signing, Arteta desperate