Arsenal are 13 points adrift of the top four as their search for an immediate return to the Champions League has faltered massively in recent weeks.
“It is an important win because we had a nightmare week,” Arsene Wenger said after his side secured a 2-0 win at AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
The Arsenal boss likened his side’s response to a boxer struggling to get off the canvas as they surprised onlookers and ended a run of four straight losses.
The ‘Wenger out’ brigade continues to bang the drum loudly and anything but victory at home to Watford will bring the mood back down.
However, Arsenal have lost to Watford in their last two Premier League meetings, both matches ending 2-1.
13:20: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned to lead Arsenal’s forward line against Watford in one of six changes to the Gunners line-up that defeated AC Milan in the Europa League.
The striker was cup-tied for the 2-0 last-16 first leg victory at the San Siro on Thursday but has been restored to the starting XI for the visit of the Hornets, alongside Petr Cech, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi.
The win in Milan saw Arsenal snap a four-game losing streak in all competitions while they will be bidding to get back to winning ways in the Premier League, having lost to Tottenham, Manchester City and Brighton in recent weeks.
Watford boss Javi Gracia, meanwhile, has made one change from the side that beat West Brom last time out, with Kiko Femenia replacing Andre Carrillo.
ARSENAL vs WATFORD
Arsenal XI: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Aubameyang.
Subs: Wilshere, Ospina, Chambers, Welbeck, Nelson, Nketiah, Willock.
Watford XI: Karnezis, Janmaat, Prodl, Mariappa, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Femenia, Pereyra, Richarlison, Deeney.
Subs: Britos, Sinclair, Gray, Hughes, Carrillo, Okaka, Bachmann.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
ARSENAL vs WATFORD
Hector Bellerin (knee) missed Arsenal’s 2-0 Europa League win at AC Milan on Thursday and is unlikely to recover in time while Nacho Monreal (back) is also expected to be absent.
Alexandre Lacazette (knee) is missing while both Sead Kolasinac and Calum Chambers came off injured in Italy. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is available for selection having been ineligible in Europe.
Watford will still be without midfielder Tom Cleverley. He has returned to training following a thigh injury which has sidelined him since January, but will not be ready for the visit to the Emirates.
Craig Cathcart is back in light training following his knee problem but remains out along with Nathaniel Chalobah (knee), Younes Kaboul (foot) and Isaac Success (knee).
Last season: Arsenal 1 Watford 2, Watford 1 Arsenal 3
Last five league matches: Arsenal L W L L L; Watford D W L W W
Top scorers: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) 9; Richarlison (Watford) 8