Arsene Wenger must surely be contemplating how he has arrived at the stage where Arsenal are facing a ‘must-win’ Premier League game in the month of August.
While that may seem dramatic, anything less victory over Watford at Vicarage Road will, in all probability, see the Gunners drifting seven points behind one – if not both – the Manchester clubs.
Even at this early juncture that would be a sizeable gap to allow Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola to open up, and so Wenger will know the importance of a first league win here.
His side were cut to ribbons by Liverpool on the opening weekend after what had essentially been a smooth start.
Wenger’s decision to rest the likes of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny after Euro 2016 has attracted plenty of debate but his team should be at full strength now.
Last weekend’s stalemate at champions Leicester at least proved Arsenal retain the ability to defend. With Ozil likely back in harness, there should be more fluidity to Arsenal’s attacking play.
Vicarage Road is not necessarily the type of ground we come to expect the Gunners to thrive at although they ran out 3-0 winners there last season.
They also fired four past the Hornets on home soil and while Watford did dump Wenger’s men out of the FA Cup, that represents a sole victory against Saturday’s opposition in 28 years.
Arsenal are 20/29 to gain their first three-point haul of the season in this clash and, with the pressure on, they are fancied to oblige.
Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in both league games against Watford last season and, with Ozil back to shoulder some of the creative burden, the Chilean could get his season going in the right direction and he is 29/20 to score at any stage.
Watford’s form last season was built on the prowess of strike duo Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney.
New boss Walter Mazzarri is still finding his feet in a new league while his team are also adapting to a new man in the dugout after Quique Sanchez Flores was moved on in the summer.
The only league wins Watford have achieved in front of their own fans this calendar year came against Aston Villa and Newcastle, both of whom are now plying their trade in the Championship.
Remarkably, Watford have scored with two of the paltry three shots on target they managed in two league games to date.
The goals are not likely to flow in this one, certainly not from the home side, and an Arsenal win with under 3.5 goals at 21/20 looks the way to go.