Opinion: Watford will miss Chalobah, but it’s an opportunity for Will Hughes to shine

Nathaniel Chalobah has been one of Watford’s best performers this season, but a freak knee injury in training has him sidelined until the start of 2018. Now’s the time for fellow summer signing, Will Hughes to step up and prove he’s ready for the Premier League challenge ahead.

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Arsenal 1-2 Watford: Adlène Guedioura’s sensational strike sinks holders despite late charge

Arsenal 1-2 Watford: Adlène Guedioura's sensational strike sinks holders despite late charge

Second-half goals courtesy of Odion Ighalo and a spectacular effort from Adlène Guedioura helped seal Watford’s progression into this year’s FA Cup semi-finals, at the expense of the reigning champions at the Emirates.

Hornets sting violently at the Emirates

Watford have knocked out FA Cup holders Arsenal in effective fashion, following a second-half counter-attack charge led by the fearsome duo of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. The latter broke the deadlock after swiveling his way past Gabriel in the box, before cooly slotting low and hard into the bottom corner with second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina helpless to stop his effort.

Ighalo and Guedioura on the scoresheet for visitors

Adlène Guedioura stole the show with a truly excellent strike from range, thumping the ball past Ospina into the roof of the net to double the lead with the clock ticking down gradually. The Hornets had stung a surprise, and it was definitely an unwelcome one for their hosts – considering Arsenal were yet to score, in spite of their domination. Having seen far more possession, creating more opportunities and passing the ball into the final third with dangerous chances aplenty, Arséne Wenger‘s men had nothing to show for their control.

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18-year-old winger Chris Willock destined for exciting future, says Wenger

18-year-old winger Chris Willock destined for exciting future, says Wenger

Arséne has not been shy in his praise for the talented teenager, who has been impressive at youth level this term and is poised to be included in the first-team matchday squad v Watford

Arsenal winger Chris Willock is destined for an exciting future, according to Arséne Wenger. The talented 18-year-old, who has been a regular in the under-18 and under-21 squads in recent months, has continued his development having signed a professional deal with the Gunners around this time last year.

Willock has been regularly training with the first-team and impressed, so much so, that he’s been included in matchday squads recently too. Along with the likes of Krystian Bielik, Julio Pleguezuelo and Ben Sheaf, he’s amongst a highly-rated crop of youngsters in his age-group, and has already featured for the England national side too at various youth levels.

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Watford 2-1 Newcastle United: Hornets end losing streak despite nervy finish

Watford 2-1 Newcastle United: Hornets end losing streak despite nervy finish

Goals from Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart helped seal a much-deserved victory for the Hornets, despite a nervy finish in the final twenty minutes – courtesy of Jamaal Lascelles’ first goal for the visitors since his summer move.

Watford went in search of their first Premier League victory in six games, as they hosted a tricky Newcastle side – who themselves are eager to maintain a run in order to avoid the relegation dog-fight they’ve been predicted to languish amongst for the rest of the current campaign.

After narrow defeats against Manchester City and Tottenham, Quique Sánchez Flores‘ men also succumbed to away losses against Southampton and Swansea in quick succession – with many critics suggesting that their bubble had seemingly burst, and they were destined for a mid-table finish.

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Watford 1-2 Manchester City: Touré and Agüero seal dramatic comeback for travelling Citizens

Watford 1-2 Manchester City: Touré and Agüero seal dramatic comeback for travelling Citizens

In a game action-packed with plenty of opportunities for both sides, the Citizens snatched all three points after two moments of brilliance late on – from Yaya Touré and Sergio Agüero to sink the spirited Hornets away from home.

Manchester City maintained pace with their title rivals, whilst proving their doubters wrong in the process, as they sealed a dramatic comeback courtesy of two moments of individual brilliance in the final minutes at Vicarage Road.

Travelling away against a tough Watford side, it was never going to be an easy game for Manuel Pellegrini‘s side. He opted against any alterations to his starting line-up before kick-off, but the Hornets could have easily held a two-goal cushion inside the early exchanges. Buoyed by an energetic home crowd, Quique Sánchez Flores‘ men were playing with both confidence and quality – but were unable to convert their opportunities as the game continued.

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