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3 Key Battles That Will Decide Arsenal’s Game Against Watford

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Arsenal will be looking to exorcise the demons that plagued them the last time they played Watford. Gunner fans will remember the FA Cup loss at the hands of the Hornets and with the home side 11 points behind Leicester, Arsenal do need to win the game if they want to have any realistic chance of winning the league.

Watford for their part are sitting pretty in 14th place with 37 points and they are virtually safe but getting to that magical 40 point mark will be a relief for Quique Sanchez Flores as he has turned the side into a decent Premier League outfit.

Arsenal did win against Everton recently and it was a great performance too but Watford will be no pushovers as they look to dent Arsenal’s title charge. We look ahead to this interesting tie and list out the three key battles that could decide the game.

Laurent Koscielny vs. Odion Ighalo

One of the best defenders in the league, whenever Arsenal play without Laurent Koscielny in the team, they seem weak in defence and more often than not end up conceding goals. Whether he is partnered with Per Mertesacker or Gabriel Paulista, he is the main man in defence and he will have a tough time at the Emirates.

The last time they faced Watford, Odion Ighalo had a great game against the Arsenal defence. The Watford striker has struck a great partnership with Troy Deeney and he would be looking to make life difficult for the French defender.

Francis Coquelin vs. Etienne Capoue

Two French midfielders who know how to tackle and they will be out on the pitch just which one is better in that aspect of the game. Francis Coquelin has had yet another excellent season for Arsenal and even though they might not win the league, they can take some solace in the form of the young midfielder.

The story of Capoue is even more remarkable, he was seen as surplus to requirements last season by Mauricio Pochettino and ended up signing for the cast of Watford but he has rejuvenated his career at the club and well has become one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. A battle to decide who wins the midfield could well decide the fate of the game.

Olivier Giroud vs. Craig Cathcart

Olivier Giroud is an enigma but not in a good way. On days, he is simply unstoppable but on certain days, he just seems to be a Sunday league footballer. The French attacker is Arsenal’s best striker and well he will be going up against another defender who has been brilliant for Watford.

Not many would have known about the Northern Irish defender Craig Cathcart but he has been incredible for Watford and has helped them become defensively solid. If he can keep Giroud in his pocket in this game, Watford might well pull off another shock at the Emirates.