Arsenal are looking like serious contenders for the title after their dismantling of Man Utd before the international break. And they should add a further three points here – their problems in recent years have certainly not been with these sorts of matches.
The Gunners have won 17 of 20 unbeaten trips to bottom-half finishers in the past two seasons (and a draw at Everton last season was hardly a terrible a result). Furthermore, they’ve won 16 of 18 matches against promoted teams since 2012/13 with 12 wins by more than one goal.
Watford have made the most impressive start of the promoted teams but were it took an Artur Boruc howler for them to score at Bournemouth and their lack of goals is a cause for concern, even more so at home where they’ve netted just once in four games. Promoted teams have lost only 58% of their 60 home games against top-four finishers in the past five seasons which makes Arsenal’s current price look about right. However, Arsenal’s style and current form should make them particularly tough for the Hornets to handle and we would be backing them at their current price of 1.67.
Putting us off backing the Gunners to cover the handicap is that they face a must-win home game against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. Instead, and mindful that eight of Arsenal’s last 11 away wins have been by just one goal while Watford have proven solid in defence so far with just one goal conceded in their four home matches, we prefer the one-goal winning margin at 3.8.
Alexis Sanchez has scored in 10 of his 21 away starts since joining the club and he looks to be in superb form while Theo Walcott has scored in five of his last eight games for club and country, including in three of five starts.
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