Arsenal v Watford – Don’t expect a classic at the Emirates


Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) takes a view on the Arsenal v Watford game this Sunday afternoon.

Arsenal v Watford | Sunday 11th March 2018, 13:30 | Sky Sports

I’ll be honest, I find it hard to foresee a classic at The Emirates in Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off. Arsenal secured an excellent 2-0 victory against A.C. Milan in the San Siro on Thursday night but their recent domestic form is very concerning. In the last month, they’ve lost at arch-rivals Tottenham, been completely outclassed by Manchester City over 180 minutes (suffering two 3-0 losses) and been out-fought in another loss to Brighton last weekend.

They face a Watford side who seem far less offensive under new manager Javi Garcia than they were under Marco Silva. Since the Spaniard took over, there have been just ten games in the Hertfordshire sides six matches, with half of these coming in one game against Chelsea (when the London outfit had ten men for 60 minutes).



Betting angles

Given that the atmosphere is likely to be fairly muted and Arsenal are a side lacking in confidence, I expect a fairly cagey encounter and believe that the 13/8 Paddy Power are offering on under 2.5 goals looks like decent value. Moreover, the 4/6 Bet Victor are offering  on under 3.5 goals certainly appeals, especially when you consider that 36 of Arsenal’s last 51 games (71%) against sides outside the top six have seen three goals or fewer.

However, I prefer a more aggressive option as I like the look of Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals to be scored, which is available at 31/20 with the same firm. This has been a winning bet on 28 occasions across the 51 game sample, suggesting that this is excellent value.

I was also tempted by the 7/5 the same firm offer on the ‘No’ option in the Both Teams To Score market given that Watford are yet to score in three away games to Premier League opposition under Garcia. However, 2-1 is the most common scoreline in that 51 game sample and given Arsenal’s defensive deficiencies I would prefer to keep it on side. Indeed, I will probably back it myself!

Best Bets

Arsenal v Watford – Arsenal to win and Under 3.5 goals (31/20 at BetVictor)

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