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Watford v Arsenal preview: team news & betting tips

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Arsenal get back to Premier League football following the international break as we make the short trip to Vicarage Road to take on Watford on Sunday afternoon.

It’s been a solid start to the new season as we collected six points against Newcastle and Burnley during our opening two games before putting in a decent display during the defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

We then came from 2-0 down to salvage a point against Tottenham before the break and we really should have won the game so we’re more than worthy of our 7 points from the opening four league games.

Arsenal will now take on a Watford side who have brought Quique Sanchez Flores back as manager after sacking Javi Garcia at the weekend having taken just 1 point from their four matches so far this campaign.

Team news

Granit Xhaka is a doubt after aggravating an Achilles while away representing Switzerland last week but the midfielder is expected to be passed fit to feature for Arsenal this weekend.

Lucas Torreira was also withdrawn for Uruguay at half-time due to a knock so we’ll have to wait and see whether he’s available. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are set to return to full training but won’t be available on Sunday.

Watford will be without Troy Deeney due to a knee injury but otherwise Flores should have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Betting odds

Arsenal have a very strong record against Watford so it’s no surprise we’re the even money favourites with Eagle Bet to win on Sunday afternoon. However, the Hornets will be hoping to get their first win of the season on the board and new boss Flores will be desperate to get his tenure off to a positive start. Watford can be backed at 11/4 while the draw is also available at 11/4.

Our familiar issues at the back continue to hamper our progress so I expect Watford to have plenty of goal-mouth chances on Sunday but with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe in attack Arsenal have more than enough firepower to cause problems at the other end. Both teams to score looks good value at 1/2.

I do expect Arsenal to come away with all three points and my prediction is a 3-1 win which can be backed at 11/1. Aubameyang to score first at odds of 7/2 looks a solid bet and if we combine that with a 3-1 win then we get excellent odds of 53/1. That’s got to be worth a few quid!



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Ray Parlour explains why Arsenal and Tottenham should steer clear of Jose Mourinho

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Arsenal and Tottenham should steer clear of making Jose Mourinho their next manager because the Portuguese wouldn’t have the amount of money he needs to spend at either club, according to Ray Parlour. 

Both the Gunners and Spurs have endured less than impressive seasons so far this term.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham are in 14th while Arsenal are in sixth place, though they lie eight points off fourth-placed Manchester City.

Mourinho has been out of job since last Christmas, when he was sacked by Manchester United following a run of torrid results for the Red Devils.

The Portuguese coach has hinted that he would like to return to the Premier League, where he won three titles with Chelsea.

But Parlour believes that Arsenal and Tottenham, whose managers Unai Emery and Pochettino are under threat this season, should not look to hire Mourinho, who has a track record of spending lots of money at the clubs he’s worked at.

“I do [think Pochettino is the right man for Spurs], who else would you go for? If you’re going to get rid of a manager, you have to have a plan. But Mourinho wherever he has gone, he has always had money to spend,” he told talkSPORT.

“Have Spurs got the money to spend? They haven’t given it to Pochettino, you’d think they would give it to Pochettino first.

“Arsenal are in the same situation. Would they look at Mourinho? They haven’t got the money to spend either.”

Parlour also spoke about his surprise at Tottenham’s low positioning in the table this season.

“It’s amazing to see that Spurs are 14th with the squad they have got and the players they have got,” he added.

“I think he [Pochettino] needs to be backed a bit more, he knows he’s going to lose a few players and they need to re-invest.

“He has got them into a great situation getting into the Champions League most seasons, but getting in this season, it looks very unlikely now.

“The board have to back him – they are going to lose three key players.”

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Granit Xhaka in Newcastle transfer talks with Fabian Schar as Magpies eye Arsenal outcast

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Arsenal are set to sell Granit Xhaka in January after the former captain fell out with fans last month.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has been left on the sidelines at his own request after he lashed out at the Emirates faithful during the draw with Crystal Palace, but he might be staying in the Premier League.

The Telegraph have reported that the 27-year-old has been told good things about the Toon by his Switzerland team-mate Fabian Schar.

Schar, who is a fan favourite at St James Park, seems keen for Xhaka to join him in the Newcastle as his compatriot looks to boost his stance with the national team ahead of Euro 2020.

The former Basel man recently broke his silence in an interview with Swiss publication Blick, in which he outlined his plans for the future.

Xhaka said: “You could say things have been a bit frantic.

“Last week in particular was a very special emotional experience for me.

“But I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments.

“In the club and of course on the national team.”

On the incident in question, the controversial midfielder spoke about his sadness, and why his reaction was justified.

He added: “When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me.

“It was very hurtful and frustrating.

“I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me.

He later added: “Insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting.

“That makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.”

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Transfer news LIVE: Liverpool hijack Man Utd target, Arsenal £26m bid, Chelsea free deal

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Transfer news LIVE | Express Sport is on hand to bring you all the latest rumours and gossip

Thursday, November 14

  • Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho wants to leave
  • Liverpool are interested in signing Genk star Sander Berge
  • Manchester City have entered the battle to sign Benfica star Ruben Dias
  • Arsenal are looking at Stuttgart midfielder Orel Mangala

Jadon Sancho frenzy

Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho wants to leave the club and return to England.

That’s according to the Daily Mail, who claim the 19-year-old wants a new challenge elsewhere with Liverpool firmly interested.

The news will also excite Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are all rumoured to be keen on his services.

Dortmund apparently value Sancho at more than £100million, so anyone serious about taking him in a few months’ time will be forced to fork out a hefty amount.

Wanted: Sander Berge

Liverpool are interested in signing Genk star Sander Berge.

That’s according to the club’s sporting director Dimitri De Conde, who claims Jurgen Klopp personally praised the midfielder’s performance after their recent Champions League encounter.

“Napoli are interested in Sander, it’s a possibility a deal could be done,” De Conde told Radio Punto Nuovo. “We also know that Liverpool are interested and Jurgen Klopp, after the game at Anfield, complimented him on his performance.”

The news of Liverpool’s interest could ruffle a few feathers at Old Trafford with Manchester United thought to have the 21-year-old Norway international lined up to replace Nemanja Matic.

Ruben Dias hijack

Manchester City have entered the battle to sign Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias.

Manchester United and Wolves are known to be monitoring the Portuguese international, who would reportedly cost £80million.

But the arrival of Pep Guardiola’s side could spark a fierce bidding war.

Portugal newspaper O Jogo claim City are eager to secure his signature to remedy their defensive issues with Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines.

Tonali unfazed by £256m valuation

Brescia teenager Sandro Tonali isn’t worried about his astronomical valuation.

Brescia owner and president Massimo Cellino claimed it would take an offer in excess of £256million for him to part ways with the talented Italian teenager.

“I love president Cellino very much and he rates me highly,” Tonali told Rai Sport. “He’s a great person and I hope to travel down a good road with him.

“After the match against Fiorentina, he said he wouldn’t even sell me for €300m, but that doesn’t scare me, even if it really is a lot of money.”

Wanted: Orel Mangala

Arsenal are looking at Stuttgart ace Orel Mangala.

That’s according to German publication HLN, who claim the Gunners are weighing up an offer for the talented 21-year-old.

Lyon, Marseille, Lille and Roma are also interested in the central midfielder, who has nine caps for the Belgium Under-21 international squad.

It’s claimed Unai Emery’s side will need to cough up £26million to secure his signature.

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