The Premier League returns from the international break this weekend as we head to Watford looking to maintain our push for a top four finish this season.
We’ve already opened up a two-point lead on Tottenham Hotspurs who are down in ninth position with 5 points. Mauricio Pochettino’s side appear to have a hangover from losing the Champions League final back in May.
Three points is the expectation for Arsenal this weekend when we travel to Vicarage Road. Whilst we have been reliant on our attack to pick up the points for us at the start of the season, we should be boosted in defence over the coming weeks. Our talented full-backs are on the mend, which will come as a huge boost for Unai Emery. Hector Bellerin and summer signing Kieran Tierney are well on the road to recovery. Bellerin has been out since January with a serious knee injury after he ruptured his ACL last season.
Tierney, who signed from Celtic over the summer, is in recovery following a double hernia operation. Emery has been making do at full-back so far this campaign with Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing there. The return of these two defenders are bound to kick-start our campaign.
“Kieran Tierney is a sensational signing and will have no problem settling in. He is a young player who has gained huge experience at Celtic, he has also played Champions League football so will be used to the quality of football. Kieran Tierney is a sensational signing and will have no problem settling in. He is a young player who has gained huge experience at Celtic, he has also played Champions League football so will be used to the quality of football”.
The Gunners have also been without star player, Hector Bellerin, since January but it seems we’ll finally have him back in the team in the near future. The Spaniard took part in the general training session alongside his team-mates this week, and – very promisingly – was photographed with a ball at his feet.
In attack, there may be some resemblance to Liverpool’s formation as Emery signed Nicolas Pepe to accompany Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up front this season. Although it was popular opinion that Emery should sign a defensive recruit, the Arsenal manager decided to spend the budget on yet another forward, looking very familiar to the set-up that Liverpool have.
Recently, Bernd Leno, our number one, has come under harsh criticism after an unconvincing performance against Spurs. Gary Neville, isn’t the biggest fan of the German goalkeeper following his display in the 2-2 draw earlier this month.
Leno came in for intense criticism for his display in the first North London derby of the season, which ended in a 2-2 draw. He was at fault for the opening goal of the game in the tenth minute, palming a tame shot from Erik Lamela into the path of Christian Eriksen to tap home.
The former Bayer 04 Leverkusen shot stopper needs to convince fans and pundits alike that he is capable of handling his position, otherwise, this could prove to be a major chink in the armour for us moving forward. Presently, we’re going well and only such mistakes could lead to our downfall.