Arsenal v watford road to victory may not be one way traffic for gunners

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Arsenal v Watford

Tuesday 31 January, 19:45


Arsenal

The Gunners are the new chief rivals to Chelsea, having moved into second place in the Premier League table, and they stretched their winning run to four in all competitions with Saturday's 5-0 thrashing of Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round.

The most exciting aspect of the cup win was the scoring form of Danny Welbeck (two goals) and Theo Walcott (hat-trick) on their returns to the starting line-up after injury. Walcott has a good record at the Emirates this season, having scored in five of his eight league appearances, and the injection of pace in attack is a major positive for Arsenal.


Watford

The Hornets' slump continued on Sunday when they were dumped out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat at Millwall of League One and their only win in their last nine matches was in the previous round at home to Championship side Burton Albion.

Walter Mazzarri's side are still eight points clear of the relegation zone in 14th place but they need to improve their form soon and this is not an easy place to start.


Match Odds

Arsenal are heavy favourites and the first thing to assess is their effectiveness against this type of opposition. The answer is that it is extremely good, as their overall record against bottom-half teams is W10 D3 L0 and at home it is W5 D1 L0 (their only failure in that category was a goalless draw against Middlesbrough in October).

Correspondingly, Watford have struggled against the better sides in the Premier League with eight defeats in 11 against current top-half teams. The other three results were all wins but one was against a struggling side (West Ham early in the season) and arguably the 3-2 home victory over Everton (their last league win on December 10) fell into that category too.


Half Time/Full Time

Having established from the figures on both sides that Arsenal are highly likely to win, the manner of victory is the next step towards finding a bet with some juice.

One popular option will be Arsenal win/win on the Half Time/Full Time, but it should be noted that only three of their eight home wins have come in that fashion this season (and two of those three victories were against teams currently in the bottom four).

The stats are the same for the Arsenal win to nil (three out of eight at home this season).

Even beating the Asian handicap line of -1.5 - which is odds-on at [1.68] - is not guaranteed. Four of Arsenal's eight home wins have been by two or more goals but four were by a single goal.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

This is another market where Arsenal's form superiority has a strong bearing and over 2.5 goals is very short at [1.55]. Seven of Arsenal's 11 home games have had over 2.5 goals (the away side failed to score in three of the exceptions) and so have nine of their 13 games overall against bottom-half teams.

Watford are towards the lower end of the scoring charts overall (seven out of 11 under 2.5 goals on the road) but it is notable that five of their six games against big-six sides have gone over 2.5 goals.


Match Result and Both Teams To Score

At decent odds of 2/1 with Betfair Sportsbook for Arsenal to win and both teams to score, this looks worth a punt. Watford have scored in five of their six games against big-six sides, while Arsenal have conceded in eight of their 13 games against bottom-half teams.

Arsenal have conceded in 10 of their 14 wins this season, including the 3-1 away victory at Watford, and there is a reasonable chance of this match going the same way.


Ref Watch

Andre Marriner tends towards the higher end of the card count and this season nine of his 16 Premier League games have had 40+ bookings points - the ratio has been made more even by four of his last five games having had 20pts or fewer.


Recommended Bet

Back Arsenal win and both teams to score at 2/1 with Betfair Sportsbook


Opta Stat

Arsenal have won their last seven league matches against Watford, netting 19 goals in the process (2.7 per game). Arsenal win and over 2.5 goals is [1.6].

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