Arsenal v Watford preview: Gunners can leapfrog high-flying opponents
Sokratis Papastathopoulos fit to play after dead leg
Last Updated: 30/09/18 7:29am
Arsenal could win their fifth straight Premier League match when they face Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend's 2-0 success over Everton was the fourth straight league win under Unai Emery and the midweek 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Brentford means they have won their last six in all competitions.
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Saturday's opponents start the weekend in fourth position, but Arsenal will leapfrog them in the Premier League table with a win - and Emery wants to see his players build their confidence further.
"Each match gives us the opportunity to take more confidence," he said.
"But every match is one challenge to show and to give, to find our best moment and best performance. I think each player is thinking well, but also we need more."
Sokratis Papastathopoulos will return to the Arsenal squad after overcoming a dead leg which forced him off against Everton.
Emile Smith Rowe is being assessed after injuring his right hip while none of the club's long-term absentees will return against the Hornets.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is progressing well and is expected to return to full training in early October from the small fracture to his left fibula.
Dinos Mavropanos (groin) and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) hope to return to training by November.
Watford's appeal over the red card shown to Christian Kabasele during the Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham on Wednesday night has been successful, meaning the defender is available.
Defender Daryl Janmaat has been ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury, so Marc Navarro is likely to fill in for him.
Troy Deeney, who had a penalty saved at Arsenal last season, is available to play despite picking up a knock in their game against Fulham.
- Arsenal have won eight of their 10 Premier League games against Watford, but those two defeats have come in the last three meetings.
- This is the first time Watford (4th) are facing Arsenal (6th) ahead of them in the league table since September 1984.
- Arsenal's last home Premier League defeat in a game kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday was on the opening day of the 2013/14 season (1-3 vs Aston Villa).
- Since then they've taken 56 of a possible 60 points in such matches (P20 W18 D2 L0).
- Arsenal have only failed to score in two of their last 36 Premier League home games.
- Watford have lost 15 of their last 16 away games against the 'big six' sides in the Premier League.
- Watford's Andre Gray is looking to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time.
Watford will be disappointed after the Carabao Cup exit to Tottenham, but they've done well so far this season. But Arsenal are rolling and I can only see them getting a win here.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)