Thank goodness that the international friendlies are now over and that we can get back to the business of Premier League football.
With it now perhaps a fantasy to hope that the Gunners have any chance of catching front runners Leicester City at the top of the table all though must now go into securing a Champions League spot finish with what looks like an easy run-in to the season, with what should be home game “bankers” against Aston Villa, Norwich City, West Brom, Crystal Palace and starts with this afternoons visit of Watford, which will hopefully serve up sweet revenge for Arsenal following their untimely exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Quique Sanchez Flores’s team.
Arsenal’s last game before the break against Everton saw a determined side put in an excellent work rate, where the team was equally sharp while going forward and defending. It is just a shame that this kind of form was not consistent throughout the season, otherwise we would still be talking about winning the title.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech is back with the team following his calf injury, yet Gunners boss Wenger is still undecided as to who will start between the posts, and may well opt to give Cech more time to rest after seeing David Ospina return from international duty with Colombia injury free.
Both midfielders Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere have returned to full-training but neither look ready to be a part of this afternoons proceedings as Wenger wants to ease them back into the team.
Spaniard Santi Cazorla is still up to four weeks away from being fit as he struggles to overcome an Achilles tendinitis problem, and possible summer transfer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains three to four weeks away from being available. The clash with Watford will also come too soon for Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey.
Predicted XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny; Ozil, Sanchez, Campbell; Welbeck.