UEFA Champions League

Watford-Arsenal Preview

Directly staring relegation in the eyes, Watford have no choice but to obviously leave it all on the line in their Premier League finale.

Looking to remain in the top-flight, Watford desperately need a victory to make that happen amidst a daunting task at Arsenal on Sunday at the Emirates.

Entering the final matchday of the season, Watford (8-10-19) currently sit atop the relegation zone on 34 points. They are three points ahead of Bournemouth, and tied on points with 17th-place Aston Villa. The Villans currently have one more win and a better goal differential - by one goal - over the Hornets.

According to the Premier League, a Watford win or draw coupled with a Villa defeat will keep the Hornets safe. Otherwise, Watford would need to better Aston Villa's Sunday result against West Ham United by two or more goals.

It does not help that the Hornets are looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat following this week's 4-0 home loss to Manchester City. Watford have been part of the Premier League for five consecutive seasons.

"Now, we have to rely on others, and we have to go to Arsenal and win," midfielder Will Hughes told Watford's official website. "When we cross the white line it's up to us to perform. The spirit is still there. It's everything to play for going into the last game, and we have to give it everything we've got."

If Watford are to find safety and remain in the Premier League for another season, they might look back on the massively valuable point they earned during a 2-2 home draw against Arsenal in the reverse fixture on Sept. 15.

Gunners star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in just over a half-hour to put the visitor's up 2-0 in that match at Vicarage Road. However, Tom Cleverley pulled one back for the Hornets in the 53rd minute and Roberto Pereyra's successful penalty on 81 minutes leveled the contest and earned that crucial point for the home side.

As crazy as this season has been for the entire league, it's been inconsistent and rather disappointing for Arsenal (13-14-10), who are 10th in the table. Though they are headed to the FA Cup final against rivals Chelsea next weekend, Arsenal are also amidst 1-1-2 Premier League stretch after falling 1-0 at Villa earlier this week.

Now once again, the Gunners will take on a team in the heart of the race to avoid relegation.

"We have to respect that there are a few teams in a relegation battle and we are responsible for that as well," manager Mikel Arteta told Arsenal's official website.

"We have to do what we have to do, and we can only be responsible for how we perform and approach the football matches."

Plenty of eyes will be on Aubameyang (25 goals over all competitions), whose future with the club has become an enticing subject. He's managed just three of those goals over his last 10 Premier League games, but has four in four such contests against Watford.

Updated July 24, 2020

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