Arsenal v Watford: Hornets to go down quietly

Arsenal manager - Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta will want to head into the Cup Final on a win
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It's now or never for Watford, but Paul Robinson thinks that their fate will be sealed at the Emirates on Sunday...

On the face of it, Arsenal have little to play for, but the players won’t want to underperform and risk losing their Cup Final place, and they are still having to prove themselves to a manager who has a transfer window looming.

Back Arsenal @ [1.98]

Arsenal v Watford
Sunday 26 July, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports

Gunners starting to look like the Gunners again

July has been a typical month for Arsenal. They became one of just a handful of teams to win at Molineux this season, they lost the North London Derby, beat Liverpool and Man City in the space of four days and then went and lost 1-0 to Aston Villa without registering a single shot on target.

They will finish the season in eighth place at best, but they still have the FA Cup Final to come, and a new season with Mikel Arteta in charge to look forward to.

Arteta has definitely improved the Gunners since his arrival at the Emirates and the defence are starting to show a bit more consistency. Shkodran Mustafi and Bernd Leno remain sidelined, so it appears likely that the manager will keep a relatively settled XI - with the players all playing for their place in the Cup Final.

Watford in a mess of their own making

The Hornets appeared to be safe...as did Nigel Pearson's job...but things change and Hayden Mullins leads the team into their final game knowing that they need to better Aston Villa's result to survive.

A 0-4 defeat at home to Man City can be forgiven, but they conceded three in a 3-1 loss at West Ham, so I have obvious concerns about their defence ahead of a trip to the Emirates.

As for the team news, Danny Welbeck is expected to start against his former club, with Tom Cleverley possibly making way. As for the defence, unfortunately for Mullins, he doesn't have many options.

Arsenal overpriced to take the points

There are some interesting prices on offer ahead of this match, with the [1.98] on a home win of obvious interest. On the face of it, Arsenal have little to play for, but the players won't want to underperform and risk losing their Cup Final place, and they are still having to prove themselves to a manager who has a transfer window looming.

Watford look gone to me. They have actually been poor since the league returned, and aside from narrow home victories over Norwich and Newcastle, they have mostly been getting rolled over.

Odds of [4.0] for them to end a run of five straight away defeats do not entice at all, and even the [4.0] on the draw doesn't appear generous.

Be cautious on goals

We saw in the Championship on Wednesday that goals can fly in on the final day of the campaign, with 10 of the 12 fixtures ending with three goals or more - the other two finished 1-1.

Over 2.5 Goals is trading at around the [1.67] mark for this clash, but that does feel a little short, despite it being the final day.

The visitors have netted just once in their last five on the road, and while they need to raise their game to survive, I just can't see it.

There were three goals in Arsenal's last home match - a 2-1 win over Liverpool - but prior to that, they drew 1-1 with Leicester, and four of their nine since lockdown ended saw Under 2.5 backers collect.

The Under is available to back at [2.4], but for all that I am tempted, I am happy to leave it alone and stick to an Arsenal victory.

Key Opta Stat

Watford are winless in seven Premier League away games (D1 L6), losing each of the last five in a row. The Hornets' last four Premier League away wins have been against sides who were in the bottom four of the table.

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2019/20 P/L (1pt each bet)

Wagered: 74pts
Returned: 57.84pts
P/L: -16.16pts

Paul Robinson,

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