Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has retained Super Eagles’ forward Alex Iwobi in his starting line-up for Saturday’s Premier League clash against a Watford side that has another Nigerian international Odion Ighalo in its starting XI for the Emirates showdown.
Iwobi and Ighalo return to club action against each other few days after falling to Egypt in a AFCON qualifiers in Alexandria, ending their ambition of a place in the continental championship next year.
Ighalo who has netted 14 league goals so far this season has only scored once in the league in 2016. He has not scored since Watford’s 2-1 win over Newcastle back in January.
Iwobi who is making his second league start after impressing for the Gunners in recent weeks was on target when Wenger’s men overcame Everton 2-0 during their last league outing at Goodison Park.
While Watford boss Quique Flores Sanchez has made three changes to the starting XI that were defeated by Stoke City in their last League outing, Wenger opted for an unchanged line-up following Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Everton a fortnight ago, but there is a return to the bench for injured goalkeeper Petr Cech.
For the Hornets, Sebastian Prödl replaces Miguel Britos in central defence, while Ben Watson comes into midfield for Valon Behrami.
Meanwhile, there’s a place for midfielder Almen Abdi, who is preferred to Jose Manuel Jurado for this afternoon’s fixture against Arsenal.
Steven Berghuis, who has not played in the league since the return fixture at Vicarage Road back in October, is named among the substitutes.
Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Coquelin, Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck
Subs: Cech, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Chambers, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud
Watford XI: Gomes (GK); Nyom, Prödl, Cathcart, Ake; Capoue, Watson, Suarez; Abdi, Deeney (c); Ighalo.
Subs: Pantilimon (GK), Britos, Guedioura, Anya, Berghuis, Jurado, Amrabat.