Graphic: Why Arsene Wenger should play this Arsenal XI versus Watford

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Arsenal travel to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal return from the international break with a trip to Premier League newcomers Watford, a game in which boss Arsene Wenger will certainly be targeting all three points.

The Gunners head into the encounter coming off the back of a wonderful 3-0 victory over Manchester United, a game which helped to silence those questioning their ability to challenge for the title.

The international break has been kind to the Gunners, and Wenger would be wise to select those brimming with confidence following their success over the past few days.

Back five:

Arsenal still have a few injury problems in defensive areas, with number one centre-back Laurent Koscielny set to miss out as he continues to struggle with a hamstring injury.

His ideal replacement is Gabriel Paulista, as Watford offer plenty of threat through duo Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, with the latter in particular a fine technical footballer and quick over the ground.

Paulista’s pace would be ideal to counter the threat, more so than Calum Chambers.


Santi Cazorla netted his first competitive goal for Spain since 2009 in their victory over Luxembourg, yet so far he has drawn a blank for the Gunners and Wenger will be keen for him to rectify that.

Francis Coquelin is the best defensive midfielder in North London, and his importance for this game is highlighted by the fact that Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere are all nursing knocks.

Attacking quartet:

Wenger faces something of a selection headache when it comes to his attacking quartet, as Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez all found the net while away with their respective countries.

Watford aren’t blessed with great pace at the back, and in their recent defeat home to Crystal Palace, the likes of Bakary Sako and Yannick Bolasie had great joy in wide areas.

The Gunners ought to line up in similar fashion, with the pace and trickery of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez used in wide areas, while Mesut Ozil roams in his favoured number 10 role.

Following his recent success, Walcott deserves to retain the centre-forward role ahead of Giroud, though the Frenchman could still have a big role to play at Vicarage Road coming off the bench.

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