Arsenal Team News vs Watford: Xhaka, Mari, Tierney, Odegaard


Arsenal has just quietly turned themselves into one of the form teams of the competition, After a torrid start that had plenty calling for Mikel Arteta’s sacking (including yours truly), the Gunners are on a scintillating run of form that sees them undefeated in their last 9 fixtures in all competitions. This week they face a Watford side who have been poor so far this season.

Not Norwich or Newcastle poor, but disappointing nonetheless. There are one or two big names likely to still be in the medical room come to kick-off, but it’s mostly good news this week with regards to the team news for the Gunners. Let’s take a look at who’s in, who’s out, and who just might be coming back.

Arsenal vs Watford FYIs:

Kick-off time: 2 PM GMT, 7 November Sunday

Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Preview Pod: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): Arsenal (DDWWW) Watford (DLLWL)

The first cab off the rank here is long-term injury sufferer Granit Xhaka. The former captain will definitely be out and isn’t expected back until after Christmas. The significant injury to his medial ligament continues to keep him in the treatment room.

Pablo Mari is next. He hasn’t played a minute in the Premier League since August and hasn’t played at all since succumbing to illness. By all accounts, he is fit and available for selection, so perhaps we might see the 28-year-old Spaniard on the bench for this one.

Kieran Tierney is a bit of a mystery at the time of writing this. He is listed on the Premier League website to return for this match against Watford, but just last week Mikel Arteta didn’t seem confident he’d be back any time soon.

I’d imagine if he is fit for selection the Gunners staff would likely err on the side of caution and perhaps he’ll get a run from the bench.

That’s the best-case scenario in my eyes.

Lastly is Martin Odegaard. The big signing from Real Madrid this summer should find himself in and around the squad once again as he continues his return from injury. Maybe not this week, but I do expect he will eventually take Alexandre Lacazette’s starting position once he is back to 100% fitness and his form is good enough.

I expect the North Londoners to record an easy victory here against the Hornets and take their undefeated streak to 10. Who would’ve thought I’d be saying that after the way they began their season?

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