Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Arsenal v Watford

BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to beat Watford on Sunday afternoon

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: YouTube)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to edge to a 2-0 win against Watford in their final Premier League game of the season at The Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

Arsenal suffered a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at Villa Park on Tuesday night to end their hopes of securing a spot in the Europa League by virtue of their league position.

The Gunners produced one of their best performances of the season in a 2-0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last weekend to secure their spot in the Wembley showpiece.

Although Arsenal can’t finish in the top six this season, the Gunners will be eager to end the Premier League campaign on a high note ahead of their clash against Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final on 1 August.

The north London outfit will take on a Watford side without their manager that need a win to boost their chances of securing their Premier League status for another campaign.

Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson is backing Arsenal to ease to a 2-0 win against Watford in their final Premier League fixture of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

“To stay up, Watford need to get a better result than whatever Aston Villa manage at West Ham, because they are level on points and their goal difference is worse by one,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“I would not be surprised if the Hornets and Villa both lose on Sunday, so that goal difference could be crucial in the end.

“But even if their fate was in their own hands, I would not fancy Watford’s chances of beating the drop from here.

“It was very telling when their goalkeeper Ben Foster described the team’s confidence as “crazy low” after they lost 4-0 to Manchester City in midweek, and I don’t see them recovering from that.

“I’m sure a few of the Arsenal players remember Watford captain Troy Deeney saying the Gunners lacked ‘cojones’ after they lost to the Hornets in 2017.

“They will want to beat Deeney on Sunday, just to shut him up – although he had a point at the time. They could end up relegating him too.

“I just think Watford are shot now, after Nigel Pearson’s departure last week. This is a huge game for them, but they go into it at rock bottom.”

Arsenal have earned 10 points from their last six games in the Premier League to underline their inconsistent performances under Mikel Arteta and his predecessor Unai Emery.

The Gunners are 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC in the race to secure a place in the Champions League next term.

Arteta’s side are a staggering 43 points behind newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool FC.

Arsenal started the season with Emery but the Gunners sacked the Spanish head coach in November and Freddie Ljungberg was appointed as his temporary replacement.

The Gunners snapped up former Manchester City assistant manager Arteta as Emery’s long-term replacement in December.

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