Afternoon everyone and welcome to the match not a lot of people are talking about. On paper, this is a shoo-in. Watford are without their brightest spark, Ismaila Sarr, and they’ve been hopeless at home lately, losing seven in a row in the league. Arsenal, who can usually be relied on to be poor travellers, have won their last three on the road. Another win here will lift them from sixth to fourth, the spot that has had their name written all over it for weeks. The only thing that could then stop them staying there tonight is if Man United were to pull off a shock in the derby.
That said, there are glimmers of hope for Watford, who are fresh from a triumphant 0-0 at Old Trafford. They came close to something similar at the Emirates in November, with Arsenal winning by a single disputed goal (after they failed to return the ball to Watford, who had sportingly put it out). And that was before Claudio Ranieri was replaced by Roy Hodgson, who has done pretty well at spiking the Gunners’ guns. In his last six league games against Arsenal, all with Palace, he managed a win and four draws, with the only defeat coming in the meaningless month of May. A win today would lift Watford out of the bottom three. They can but dream.