Per Mertesacker
Mertesacker is a doubt but Wenger will otherwise have a full squad to choose from against Chelsea Getty

Arsenal face Watford on Saturday (17 October) as the Gunners look to extend their winning run in the Premier League following successive wins over Leicester City and Manchester United. The Gunners are currently second in the league and a win could take them above Manchester City, who face Bournemouth earlier in the day.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is 5:30pm BST. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.


Watford come into the game having the joint-best defensive record in the league, alongside Arsenal and three other clubs, conceding just seven goals in the league to date. The Gunners have previously been found out against teams with a good defensive structure, as evidenced in their Champions League games thus far, as well as against West Ham on the opening day of the season, something which Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores will be keen to exploit.

Watford's two losses have come against teams above them in the table – Manchester City and Crystal Palace – but a record of four draws and two wins in their eight games has kept them comfortably in mid-table. However, their Achilles' heel this season has been their failure to score, having managed only six goals, the joint lowest in the league.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will be buoyant on the back of a mesmerising victory over Manchester United before the international break, when they blitzed the Red Devils in a 20-minute spell to put the result beyond doubt. Alexis Sanchez's return to form and Theo Walcott's performance as a centre-forward will help Arsene Wenger, who was under immense pressure following his side's failures in the Champions League.

Currently bottom of the group, Arsenal's failure to progress into the knockout stages could be a blessing in disguise for the manager, who would be able to concentrate on the Premier League, which they haven't won in over a decade. The Gunners had an injury boost before the game, with Laurent Koscielny likely to be back fit, while Alexis Sanchez, who sustained a groin injury against United, will also be tested for any lingering discomfort after playing twice for Chile this week.

What the managers say

Quique Sanchez Flores: "In Spain it is difficult to ever think of a manager managing for 20 years," said Flores. "We live in another philosophy. We think in another philosophy. Sometimes in Spain we don't wait until the end of the season to change. What Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger did is very difficult to match in other countries, it is impossible. In other countries it is completely different. Times change, but it is very difficult for other managers. This is the first time I've faced Arsene Wenger. I respect him; the English league is like the Spanish league, we have high respect for this type of manager. He has experience and we have respect."

Arsene Wenger: "The most important game is Watford because the Premier League is the most important competition for us. You can fight for the championship if you just turn up in every single game and I believe we've just come out of a very strong performance [against Manchester United]. What is at stake is for us to again show the same quality in our play. That means showing that you can focus in every single game and turn up with the same commitment. That's what is at stake for us."

Betting Odds (

  • Watford Win: 24/5
  • Draw: 31/10
  • Arsenal Win: 3/5

Team News


Possible XI: Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Prodl, Ake; Anya, Capoue, Behrami, Abdi; Deeney, Ighalo


Possible XI: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Walcott