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Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Watford v Arsenal

Unai EmeryUnai Emery

Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal and Watford to share the spoils at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners will be hoping to make a swift return to winning ways following a two-game run without a Premier League victory.

Arsenal beat Newcastle United and Burnley in their opening two fixtures before Unai Emery’s side lost 3-1 at Liverpool FC in their first real test of the Premier League season.

To their credit, the Gunners showed fighting spirit to come from 2-0 down to rescue a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby before the international break.

Watford decided to part company with Javi Garcia during the international break, turning to their former manager Quique Sanchez Flores to embark on his second stint with the Hornets.

The London-based club are at the bottom of the Premier League table following a return of one point from their opening four games.

However, former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson is expecting to see a reaction from the Watford squad as the BBC Sport pundit tipped Arsenal to leave Vicarage Road with a point.

“Quique Sanchez Flores is back in charge of Watford after Javi Gracia was sacked over the international break, and at least he will not need time to get to know his squad – there are still several players there from his previous stint in charge,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“It is a surprise to see a manager sacked after four games of the season, then replaced by the man he had succeeded, but this is Watford. They don’t follow the manual – they write it themselves.

“But Sanchez Flores should give Watford a lift – I think he is one of the best managers they have had in the past few years.

“But even allowing for the ‘new-manager bounce’ and the fact that I think we will see a reaction from the Watford players, I don’t see them getting their first win of the season.

“They will cause Arsenal some problems though. The Gunners have got lots of quality going forward but their defensive issues remain.

“Unless they can play brilliant attacking football for 90-plus minutes, which is almost impossible, they are going to concede goals. That is where Unai Emery’s side are at right now.”

Arsenal signed six new players in the summer transfer window: Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba, Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz.

The Gunners have still conceded nine times in four games despite signing three new defenders.

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