Watford host Arsenal this weekend and will hope to expose any defensive weaknesses. Arsenal’s attack of Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is dangerous but their defence has a soft underbelly at times.
Ismaila Sarr will be Watford’s key man for breaking Arsenal down on the counter-attack. And if he lines up on the right-wing, he could have joy against an out-of-sorts Sead Kolasinac. Here’s why.
Mkhitaryan gives Kolasinac torrid evening
On Sunday evening, Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Armenia ran riot against Kolasinac’s Bosnia. Mkhitaryan scored twice and provided an assist in the 4-2 win. And he gave Kolasinac the run-around.
Kolasinac was caught of position for all three of the goals that Mkhitaryan directly contributed to. His defending has often been called into question and he better suits a left-wing-back role. That could play into the hands of Sarr, who will look to exploit the space in behind Kolasinac down the Arsenal left.
Sarr must watch Kolasinac’s attacking threat
While Sarr will be aiming to attack Kolasinac down the Watford right, he must also be on guard to limit the Arsenal defender’s attacking threat. On his day, Kolasinac can be deadly with his crosses and forward bursts.
The 26-year-old will join in attacks when he can with Arsenal likely to have most of the ball. Sarr must ensure he does the defensive work just as much as his attacking work.
Kolasinac must prove himself before Tierney’s return
Kolasinac must work hard on his defensive work and make sure he does not get embarrassed by Sarr. Mkhitaryan ran rings around Kolasinac in the week and his performances must improve – otherwise, he’ll lose his spot.
Arsenal are anticipating Kieran Tierney’s return to action by next month. If Kolasinac’s form drops, Tierney could come straight in and replace him.