Thursday 19 July 2018

Watford braced for different Arsenal threat after FA Cup upset

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores believes Arsenal will be a tough test on Saturday
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores believes Arsenal will be a tough test on Saturday

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores believes last month's FA Cup victory over Arsenal makes the league trip to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday extra challenging for the Hornets.

The Hornets beat the Gunners 2-1 in an impressive cup quarter-final performance, but Flores knows they cannot take anything for granted this time as Arsenal bid to chase down Leicester and Tottenham in the Premier League title race.

On whether Watford's task is more difficult, Flores said: " For sure.

"It's a completely different competition, completely different scenario, completely different match. We need to prepare because they are a very good team but we want to win.

"Every match is very hard in England, in the FA Cup and the league. We are expecting a very tough match."

Arsenal stand 11 points behind league leaders Leicester heading into the weekend and Flores believes the Foxes will probably become this season's champions.

Flores said of Arsenal: "They have to try to get to the top of the league but they have very good players.

"I think it is difficult for anyone to beat (Leicester).

"For Arsenal, they have a lot of pressure but anything can happen in the Premier League."

There have been a number of calls from Arsenal fans for Arsene Wenger to step down at the end of the season despite him indicating he will not walk away, and Flores believes the Frenchman remains an important manager in the Premier League.

He said: "Arsene Wenger has a lot of experience, I greatly admire him as a coach. What he is doing at Arsenal is very difficult.

"I respect the fans of Arsenal, they know a lot better than me, but I respect Arsene too.

"Every time I play against him it is an honour. He has been coaching for a long time."

Arsenal and Watford's training facilities are within walking distance of each other, and before the FA Cup match Wenger joked that he was sending spies over the fence of the Watford training ground.

Flores says he would be more than welcome.

He said: "We are open for everyone. We do not need to hide anything. Anyone who wants to come and watch our training is welcome.

"We are happy for anyone to come."

Press Association

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