Watford’s Troy Deeney has scored six goals and provided four assists in 2019

TEAM NEWS

Watford will be without Jose Holebas, Domingos Quina and Tom Cleverley.

Holebas suffered a hamstring injury during the FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves, Quina has a shoulder injury and Cleverley a calf problem.

Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos begins a two-match ban for accumulating 10 bookings.

Granit Xhaka has a groin injury and will be assessed ahead of the game, while Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin remained sidelined.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Watford manager Javi Gracia says the FA Cup final won’t be a distraction: “I am only thinking about trying to win the next game. I don’t want to think any further.

“We have good professionals and, with these players, it is easy as they know the next game is very important.

“We don’t have only one final – we have seven finals. All of them are focused on the next game.”

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “Each match gives us a big challenge for the possibility to improve and take three points and the possibility to end the season in the top four.

“For us that would be a big success. When we started last in the table after the first two matches in the season we were thinking about arriving in this moment with the possibility of being in the top four in our hands.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I actually think the Gunners will win this one, although that has nothing to do with their form – they have only beaten bottom side Huddersfield on the road since the end of November.

It is more to do with the fact I don’t think we will see quite the same intensity from Watford with the FA Cup final only a few weeks away.

Prediction: 1-2

Lawro’s full predictions v golfer Matt Fitzpatrick

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Watford came from behind to beat Arsenal in the corresponding match last season, with Tom Cleverley scoring a stoppage-time winner.
  • Arsenal had had won their four previous Premier League visits to Vicarage Road. They have not lost back-to-back away league games at Watford since a run of three straight defeats ending in November 1987.
  • None of the 11 previous Premier League meetings have ended in a draw.

Watford

  • Watford have won three successive home league games and haven’t lost at Vicarage Road since Boxing Day.
  • They last won four in a row at home in the same top-flight season back in December 1986.
  • Watford have won 19 games in all competitions this season, their most as a top-flight club in a single campaign since recording 23 victories in 1986-87.
  • They have only won two of their 15 Premier League games on a Monday (D5, L8).
  • The Hornets have won 99 home games in the top flight.
  • Troy Deeney has scored nine Premier League goals this season – one more would make him just the third player to score 10 or more goals in three different top-flight seasons for Watford, emulating Luther Blissett and John Barnes.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal have won five of their past seven league matches but lost at Everton last time out.
  • The Gunners have won only two of their last 12 away matches in all competitions (D3, L7).
  • They are one of only two teams in the top four English divisions not to have kept a clean sheet away from home in the league this season.
  • Arsenal have conceded a joint-high nine goals in the opening 15 minutes of games in this season’s Premier League.
  • They have won seven of their last eight Premier League games on a Monday.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s highest Premier League goalscorer this season with 17 goals – but he hasn’t scored away from home in 2019. His last seven goals in all competition have come at the Emirates.
  • Eleven of Arsenal’s league goals this season have come from substitutes, the highest tally in the top flight.



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