Having squandered their chance to get into the Europa League via the Premier League, Arsenal will hope to finish their 2019-20 league campaign on a high when they take on Watford at the Emirates Stadium today.
The Gunners are scheduled to face their arch-rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final next Saturday, and their hopes of securing a place in the group stages of the Europa League next season will hinge on that nail-biting contest.
Watford, on the other hand, will need to better Aston Villa’s result, if they are to retain their top-flight status.
Even a defeat could mathematically guarantee their safety, if the results of the games involving Aston Villa and Bournemouth go their way.
Arsenal Team News
Bernd Leno has started to participate in outside running and ball drills, and is aiming to be back in full training next week. Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, and Gabriel Martinelli are nursing their injuries, and will not be available.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup vs Watford (3-4-3)
Emiliano Martinez is set to continue in goal for the north London outfit. The custodian has impressed in leno’s absence, and the Arsenal fans will be glad that they will have a solid backup when Leno eventually returns to the Arsenal lineup.
Sokratis is unlikely to return to the team as he is not Arteta’s preferred choice, even as a back-up, which means Rob Holding could keep his place at the back in the absence of Mustafi. David Luiz and Sead Kolasinac could complete the back three for the Gunners.
Kieran Tierney’s offensive prowess could be useful against Watford, who will look to attack considering what is at stake, and the Scottish prodigy is expected to start as the left wing-back.
Hector Bellerin might be called back to operate as the right wing-back in place of Cedric Soares.
Granit Xhaka has resuscitated his career at Arsenal under Arteta, producing a number of commendable performances. Lucas Torreira could be dropped from the Arsenal lineup to accommodate the Swiss international.
Xhaka could form a double-pivot with Dani Ceballos, considering that their partnership has generated substantial dividends.
The Spaniard is also in a rich vein of form and could be playing his last league game for the Gunners, should the club fail to extend his loan deal.
Nicolas Pepe is more than capable of causing problems with his pace and directness and should start on the right-wing. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deserves a breather, which is why Bukayo Saka could start on the opposite flank.
With not much to gain from this game, Arteta will be tempted to rest Alexandre Lacazette and perhaps use him as an impact sub later in the game.
Eddie Nketiah could hence lead the line, and he will look to make an impact after an average performance against Aston Villa in his last outing.