Premier League 2018/19 Watford Arsenal tactical analysis
Artwork by @chapulana

After a convincing win against Napoli in the first leg of the Europa League, Premier League action beckoned for Arsenal in the form of an away match at Vicarage Road. Their opponents, Watford, had just come off the back of a stunning comeback against Wolves in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and would have liked to carry forward their momentum to the Premier League, upsetting the Gunners in the process.

What followed was a nightmare for the Hornets as they conceded a goal within 10 minutes before being reduced to 10 men as Troy Deeney was sent off for a late challenge on Lucas Torreira. In this tactical analysis, we’ll look at how the match panned out and the interesting tactics employed by both of the managers.


The home team lined up in an unusual 4-3-1-2, which was a departure from manager Javi Gracia’s preferred 4-2-2-2. The 4-3-1-2 had worked well against Wolves last Sunday at Wembley and he made four changes to that line-up. Ben Foster started in goal in place of Heurelho Gomes, defenders Adrian Mariappa and José Holebas were replaced by Daryl Janmaat and Christian Kabasele, and midfielder Roberto Pereyra was benched in favour of Adam Masina.

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