Arsenal v Watford preview: Jack Wilshere says hosts have something to prove
Last Updated: 11/03/18 1:45pm
Jack Wilshere admits Arsenal have not been good enough in recent weeks as they look to build on their Europa League victory when facing Watford on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
The Gunners ended a run of four straight defeats in all competitions on Thursday with a 2-0 victory away at AC Milan on Thursday night, putting Arsenal Wenger's side on course for the quarter-finals in the only competition they can still win.
A 2-1 defeat at Brighton last weekend leaves Arsenal 13 points adrift of the Premier League top four, although Wilshere hopes to see his side use their midweek win at the San Siro as a platform for the rest of the season.
"If anyone tells you you haven't got to prove anything to anyone, they are wrong," he said. "You are always trying to prove yourself to people and play well in the next game.
"We know we haven't been good enough. We are aware of it. We have got to use this win as a target. We have got to reach these levels every week."
Watford sit ninth in the table following back-to-back home victories, with the Hornets looking to complete the double over Arsenal after winning the reverse fixture 2-1 at Vicarage Road in October.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will be out to avoid an unwanted record under Wenger, having previously lost four league games in a row back in March 1995 under caretaker Stewart Houston.
Arsenal will be sweating on the fitness of a number of players ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash against Watford, with Hector Bellerin (knee) unlikely to recover in time after missing Thursday's win at the San Siro.
Nacho Monreal (back) is also expected to be absent and Alexandre Lacazette (knee) is missing, while both Sead Kolasinac and Calum Chambers came off injured in Italy. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is available for selection having been ineligible in Europe.
Watford will still be without midfielder Tom Cleverley (thigh), who has returned to training after being sidelined since January.
- In all competitions, Watford have won two of their last three games at the Emirates, and have won four of their last seven away at Arsenal (L3).
- Watford could become only the third side to win back-to-back away Premier League games at the Emirates, after Chelsea in November 2009 and Swansea in March 2016.
- Since beating Arsenal 2-1 in January 2017, Watford have lost their last six Premier League games in London, conceding 17 goals in that run (2.8 per game).
- Arsenal have conceded in each of their last 11 Premier League games. They last had a longer run without a top-flight clean sheet between April and October 1988 (12 games).
- Alex Iwobi has scored in both of his home league appearances against Watford. Indeed, against no Premier League side has he scored more goals than he has vs the Hornets (2, same as Crystal Palace).
Arsenal have got to beat Watford. Surely. Surely. If they don't, I don't even want to think about it. I'm not saying they'll win bullishly, I'm saying it with more hope than anything. They're struggling, their confidence is low.
Watford are out of the relegation fight, they've had a good couple of results, but Arsenal should have enough to get past them.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (15/2 with SkyBet)