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Arsenal ‘will be firing’ against Watford if one star passes fitness test for Unai Emery

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The Gunners won their first two games of the season against Newcastle and Burnley before taking only one point against Liverpool and Tottenham.

Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways when they visit Vicarage Road on Sunday (4.30pm) as club football returns following a two-week break.

According to former Arsenal player and pundit Charlie Nicholas, Unai Emery will be desperate to have one star fit for the clash because he is key to the way the side function.

He wrote in his Sky Sports column: “How are Arsenal's struggles at the back capable of competing with the physical side?

“The midfield and attack should be strong enough - if Alexandre Lacazette is fit we will be firing.”

It was first feared that the Frenchman had suffered a hamstring injury in the north London derby.

The star was forced off with a niggle and replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan with 20 minutes to play but it’s believed that the problem was just cramp.

When asked if that was the case after the 2-2 draw in which Lacazette found the net, Emery said: “Yes, I think so. [But] It’s not [severe].”

If Lacazette is fit enough to start in Hertfordshire, Emery has a conundrum on his hands in attack.

New signing Nicolas Pepe has now entered the fray meaning the Spaniard is having to find a solution to get the best out of him, Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The trio started last time out but as academy coach Per Mertesacker admitted in midweek, there is a problem finding the balance at the top end of the field.

Arsenal will be the first side to go up against new Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores since his surprise return to the Premier League last Saturday.

Javi Gracia was sacked by the Vicarage Road hierarchy after an alarming dip in form, despite reaching the FA Cup final last season.

Nicholas predicts Watford may try and get physical with the Gunners, because they have had some success doing it in the past.

“Watford will look to cause another upset and get off the mark,” he added.

“They like to get physical with Arsenal, so they may approach it this way again.

“With Quique Sanchez Flores coming in again, it will certainly boost the hosts. I liked him before, but he didn't play overly aggressive. He played quite technically.”




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