Silva | “We Believe”

Head Coach Marco Silva will not temper his side's attacking ambition when he goes in search of another famous win over Arsenal.

Silva rose to prominence on the back of a 3-2 Champions League win over the Gunners while in charge of Olympiakos in 2015. It was a result that ended a run of 12 straight defeats for the Greek giants away at English opposition. 

The Portuguese alchemist is now seeking to mastermind another against-the-odds win over Arsène Wenger's side, who have won six of their last seven games, drawing the other against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Silva will, you suspect, not be seeking to sit back and steal a 1-0 win, not with the attacking riches he has at his disposal. Undeterred by the way Manchester City picked his side apart, he will instruct his side to play firmly on the front-foot. 

"You can change the strategy for the match and play with different systems, but our idea is the same as we have been working on this since the first day," he said.

"We can change the formation and the strategy but to change our idea, our style of play, in one week, is impossible."

Watford ended the Gunners' seven-match unbeaten run last season, plundering the points at the Emirates Stadium after an impressive performance, arguably their best of the season, carried them to a 2-1 win.

"I remember the match," said Silva. "It was a different game, different teams with a different style of play."

The Head Coach hasn't watched that match back but he has paid attention to the last two times Arsenal have visited Vicarage Road, occasions when the Gunners have scored three times each and made the game, at times, look all too easy.

"We need to change as normally when Arsenal come here they achieve good results," said the Head Coach.

"We know it will be really difficult but we believe. I'm sure we can compete."

Watford go into the game still buoyed by the late, late shows at Swansea and West Brom. While Silva acknowledges the drama at the death "shows our character, shows our team spirit", he wants his side to press the reset button and not live off the back of those performances.

"We need to prove ourselves again," he said.

"What we did until now we are happy. Now is a new game. We achieved good things until now and we reacted very well to a bad moment against City. We've worked well until this break and now we play against a very, very good team.

"We think it will be a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium."

Watch Silva's full pre-Arsenal press conference at the top of this article - free to view, no sign-up required!


Team News | Arsenal

Marco Silva will check on the condition of André Carrillo when the winger returns from international duty before deciding whether he is physically and mentally right to face Arsenal on Saturday.

Carrillo played 60 minutes of Peru's 1-1 draw with Ecuador in Lima on Tuesday night and isn't due to land back in England until this afternoon.

He will return to the training ground tomorrow and take part in the final training session before the visit of the Gunners in the 5.30pm kick-off at Vicarage Road. 

Carrillo is likely to be on the crest of a wave after Peru secured a World Cup qualifying play-off with New Zealand next month, and he should be relatively fresh as he missed the first of his country's game two games through suspension.

"We'll see," said Silva. "Tomorrow we'll do the first session as he comes back this afternoon. We'll see his condition. I need to talk with him a little bit and after I will take my decision."

Silva, who worked with the player at Sporting Lisbon, had no qualms about pitching Carrillo straight back into the action following the last international break, when he played back-to-back games. Carrillo responded by producing a remarkably energetic display down the right flank against Southampton on that glorious afternoon at St Mary's.

"It's not the first time it's happened," said the Head Coach. "The game against Southampton, the same thing happened. I took the decision to then put him in the starting XI. I need to see how he is."

The Head Coach reported that Sebastian Prödl is "still in doubt" following the hamstring injury he picked up during the last round of international matches, while Younès Kaboul "is out" of the Arsenal game with the leg injury he sustained against Southampton.

Isaac Success has also joined the walking wounded.

"We expect six to eight weeks," said Silva. "It's a knee injury, a problem he had in one session here. It was a normal situation and looked nothing special at that moment but after examinations, the problem is bigger and now we need to wait for him."

Watch the full Marco Silva press conference in the video above - free to watch, no sign-up required.