An international break wasn’t enough to dampen the mood among Arsenal fans, thanks to the emphatic nature of our 3-0 win against Manchester United last time out.
As far as international fixtures go, this wasn’t a bad set either. Between them, Arsenal players won 20 caps for their countries, scoring 11 goals and grabbing three assists. Now domestic matters are back on the agenda and Arsène Wenger will be hoping his players continue their strong form on club duty.
After a convincing win last time out, the Arsenal manager is eager for his team to pick up where they left off.
“We separated on a positive vibe,” Wenger said on Thursday. “After, the task is to reconnect quickly because everybody goes to their national teams and has different worries.
“The target now is to refocus on what we want to achieve.”
What we want to achieve is consistency with both performance and results, as we look to close the two point gap to Manchester City at the top of the table.
“At the moment we are in the fight and that’s what you want. I believe we have the potential to do it and that’s what we want to show now in the coming games.”
No new injuries from the international break is a pleasant surprise, while Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are back in training and available for selection. Laurent Koscielny also missed the win against Manchester United and faces a fitness test ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road.
Alexis only returned from international duty on Saturday afternoon and had an issue with his hip as well as his groin, but expect Wenger to start with the same team that beat Manchester United so convincingly.
Possible XI: Čech; Bellerín, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Özil, Alexis; Walcott.
In four games since promotion, Watford have conceded just one goal at home. It’s still early in the season, but it’s impressive that the only goal they’ve let in at Vicarage Road was from the penalty spot in a defeat to Crystal Palace.
“They are a very difficult team to play against so we have to focus to get a positive result on Saturday,” Wenger told the media, and he had praise for the new Watford boss too.
“He has done extremely well.
“I have met him [before]. He has adapted very quickly.”
Quique Sanchez Flores has a solid midfield after Etienne Capoue and Valon Behrami were signed in the summer. Going forward, Watford are willing to commit men to attacks as Ikechi Anya utilises his pace to compliment the power and smart movement of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo.
Valon Behrami and Ikechi Anya are doubtful, but should start if they are fit.
Possible XI: Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Prödl, Aké; Anya, Capoue, Behrami, Abdi; Deeney, Ighalo.
After that win against Manchester United, there’s a real feeling that Arsenal could do something big this season. You can feel it among the fanbase and, from the way Wenger speaks, you can sense it drifting around London Colney as well.
That mood is something we have to keep around, something to thrive on, it could be a driver for a title challenge. The game against the Hornets will no doubt be tricky, but now’s the perfect time to find our stride and deliver.