In two-days’ time Arsenal will be meeting their next opponent, Watford, currently in 14th place in the Premier League. The match will be held at Vicarage Road and will be the team’s third away match this season. As far as the players who were on international break are concerned, they will be returning to the club during Thursday morning. Although no international players have reported any injuries, they will be assessed before the Sunday’s match.
This will be the tenth match the two clubs will play against each other since Watford returned to Premier League in the 2015/16 season. In the nine matches played so far Arsenal have won six and lost four.
One familiar face that we might get to see in the game is that of Rob Holding, who has been away for nine months due to a cruciate knee ligament injury. The 23-year-old was very prominent during the first three months of the last season, before sustaining the injury in December 2018. Now the central defender is back in full training with the first team and is in contention for the upcoming match.
Holding was brought to the club by Arsene Wenger in 2016, but fitted just as well under his successor, Unai Emery. Although he had established himself as a vital part of the team under the Spaniard, the 47-year old has told the coaches that Holding will have to fight to win back his place on the team.
Arsenal’s ex-captain and now Academy manager Per Mertesacker has expressed his support for his former teammate saying that the young defender is leaving behind him what must have been a tough period of self-doubt. Mertesacker says that making the first steps on the ground and learning to trust your body again is a vital part of the healing process, which is where Holding is right now. During his time on the mend Holding has apparently adopted good habits in terms of how he prepares for the training:
“He learned that he can’t just turn up for training, he needs to do other things before and after to look after himself. Then he can really trust his body.’
Arsenal can be backed at 1/1 to beat Watford at the Vicarage.