Having beaten both Liverpool and Man City in the same week, Arsenal then went on to lose to relegation strugglers Aston Villa, meaning they will finish behind North London rivals Spurs for the fourth consecutive season.
The defeat also ended any slight hopes of qualifying for next season’s Europa League via the Premier League, and their FA Cup final against Chelsea is now their only means of doing so, though the Blues will be hoping to crush the Gunners’ European dreams for a second year in a row.
With that in mind, we can’t see Mikel Arteta fielding his strongest side here in what is a nothing match for his side, though the Hornets have it all to play for.
Nigel Pearson became the third casualty in the Watford dugout this season in a bizarre sacking just two matches before the end of the season, as the Englishman took them from rock bottom to outside the relegation zone.
The Herefordshire based club are level on points with Aston Villa in 17th now, though are one goal worse off than their midlands rivals after a 4-0 home defeat to Man City in midweek.
Arsenal have been very difficult to beat at home under new management and are currently on a run of six wins from eight unbeaten matches at the Emirates.
They’ve only failed to score once in 18 such games this season, coming in a 3-0 defeat to Man City so we’d expect them to at least get on the scoreboard even if they do field a weakened side, especially when looking at their visitor’s record on the road.
Under 2.5 Goals
While Watford’s home record was more than respectable under Pearson, their away form hasn’t been nearly good enough.
They’re just W2-D4-L12 on the road this season, with both wins coming against the bottom two sides in the league Bournemouth and Norwich, while they’re on a run of five successive away defeats, scoring just once in that run so we’d be surprised to see a flurry of goals hitting the back of the hosts’ net.
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a low scoring affair altogether. Arsenal will have one eye on the FA Cup final, and we’d expect to see a few second-string players taking the field from the off, with the likes of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe being rested.
What’s more, the visitors have seen a maximum of two goals in six of their seven away matches against middle-third sides this season, and they’ll do their best to avoid this becoming an open affair, so a tight low scorer is our pick for this game.