If Spurs are being remarkably ‘un-Spursy’ this season, it’s perhaps with an even greater annoyance for Arsenal fans that their North London team is following the script for verbatim. Arsenal, ever since Christmas, have been incredibly ‘Arsenaly’.
As all the traditional title rivals faltered, Arsene Wenger and co. were faced with a bunch of upstarts from Leicestershire and their old North London foes. All that was required was to string a run together, something Arsenal can do with consummate ease when Top 4 is required, but alas, it seems to be the impossible feat. Arsenal have coughed and spluttered to being 11pts off top with a game in hand, their title tilt all but over for another season.
On a positive side note to such title failings, Arsenal have escaped the international break without any more injuries and in Danny Welbeck, a player who did himself no disservice against Germany with a strong showing, something to be chipper about. The international break came at a poor time for Wenger and Arsenal. Arsenal looked to have shown a bit of mental fortitude in producing a thoroughly professional performance against an Everton side that this season looks like it could score 6 as easy as it might concede 6 and Wenger will be hoping that they hit the ground running once more to secure the best possible league finish this season.
Watford are another side lacking a bit of form and consistency in the second part of the season but what it so crucial for Watford is the amount of points picked up in the first 15 or so games of the season. 11pts clear of relegation, it is frightfully hard to believe that Watford will face any relegation fears despite not winning in their last five. 3pts shy of the magical 40 and with the likes of Palace more likely relegation fodder (on top of the already crowded field form the North East and Villa), you wouldn’t blame both players and fans to be start eagerly looking forward to their trip to Wembley in the FA Cup.
It’s the FA Cup fixture in the last round though that proves that this game isn’t has predictable has one might think on paper. Yes, both sides are lacking form with league objectives potentially secured (in Watford’s case) or out of reach (in Arsenal’s), you wouldn’t be surprised to see Arsenal win this game 2, maybe 3-0 but then I thought that to be the case in the FA Cup and looked what happened there. So much for Watford though relies on Deeney and Igahalo producing the goods up top and especially in Odion Igahlo, Watford have a striker who can’t buy a league goal currently (only one this calendar year), I just can’t see Watford putting in that performance come Saturday.
Expect Arsenal to be clinical and business like come game day. I don’t know why (and this season has proved that instinct basically means nothing) but it just seems to be the Arsenal way that a run of victories will occur when the gap to the top is insurmountable, to agonisingly get close to coveted league title but come up ever so short.
Oh, to be an Arsenal fan in recent years, it must play havoc with your blood pressure.
Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog
Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck
Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Aké, Amrabat, Suárez, Capoue, Jurado, Deeney, Ighalo
Match Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Watford
Last Six Results
Key Players (Goals + Assists)