As has been well-documented elsewhere, the international break couldn’t have come at a worse time for Arsenal. The team have been on a roll of sorts, steam-rollering…wait scrub that…I mean, managing to beat some of the lesser lights of football not particularly convincingly. However, to me at least, a win is a win. I’m not at all unhappy with the way the team grind out a result. The point is it must be three points…in the league at least. As the old phrase goes: ‘You can only beat what’s out in front of you’ and Arsenal have done that on six of the last seven outings.
Therefore, you may ask, why am I so despondent? In a word, Mustafi. In two words, Mustafi’s injury. In three words, he will be missed.
Rather than confidently predicting a comprehensive victory at Watford, I can imagine a game that see-saws, not necessarily in Arsenal’s favour, especially if Wenger decides to go with ten men. Yes, ten men! I said it. Well, that’s what it feels like if Wenger gets his team selection wrong.
I agree with ‘The Merse’ even if Wenger doesn’t in that it would be a major mistake to start the game with the suddenly injury-prone, want-away contract rebel, Mesut Ozil. The German’s ability is not in question, but it’s the application of it that’s doubtful.
Of course, Arsenal have a sufficiently deep squad to put Watford to the sword, but the addition of Ozil and the subtraction of Mustafi and Koscielny from the starting eleven could spell trouble for the Gunners. Given the form that Watford have been in lately this was never going to be a walk in the park, which is why I’m mystified about all the confident predictions I’ve read on the internet about Arsenal smashing three past the Hornets.
If Arsenal do manage to score three, which I doubt, given that Sanchez will be tired after his World-Cup qualifyier exertions, I cannot foresee a clean sheet. Don’t be surprised if it’s goals galore at both ends with a score draw the most likely outcome.