Sitting comfortably in the 9th place in the points table, Javi Gracia is doing a decent job in his time at Vicarage Road as he is building a team that is capable of frustrating even the best sides in the country at the moment. They will have to do exactly that this weekend when they travel to Emirates on Sunday,
The Gunners are fresh from a 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday and will be high on confidence going into this game. The Hornets beat Chelsea recently and are fresh from a 1-0 win over West Brom, and will believe that they can sneak a point or more from this tie. Gracia will, however, look to get three and here is the predicted lineup he might field for this tie:
Watford are currently suffering more injuries than any other side in the competition. Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul, Tom Cleverly, Christian Kabasele, Jerome Sinclair, Gerard Deulofeu and Nathaniel Chalobah are all ruled out for this weekend. Jose Holebas is also expected to miss this game while Kiko Femenia who was suffering from an illness, is expected to be back in action for this game.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
The manager has shifted to a 3-man backline against superior opposition and could revert to it in this game. Orestis Karnezis has been preferred over Heurelho Gomes in recent games and Gracia is expected to stick with Karnezis for this game as well. Sebastian Prodl has been at his best, playing at the heart of a back-3. He should keep his place in the side, starting through the middle, adding some mettle to the backline.
Adrian Mariappa will start on the left side of the backline while Miguel Britos, who covered for Holebas’ injury in the previous game, should start on the right side of the Prodl in this game.
Daryl Janmaat has been a regular at right wing-back and should keep his place in that role against the Gunners. Marvin Zeegelaar has been a revelation on the other flank and he should start as a wing-back on the left side of the midfield.
The Hornets have a dynamic midfield pairing of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue, who are expected to put Arsenal under severe pressure this weekend.
Troy Deeney scored the only goal in Watford’s win vs West Brom last weekend and should continue to lead the line while Richarlison is a regular name on the left side of the attack. Roberto Pereyra has also been effective recently and could start on the right side of the attack.