Oh, god. You have no idea how I missed you. Mmmm, come closer and let me smell you!
Oh yeah, that's the hot jam. Let me pull you closer and caress your beautiful long balls and penetrating runs deep into defenses mainly comprised of third-rate Scottish ogres named James, and Alan, and Kenny. Let my eyes lose themselves gazing at your midfielders who lack any semblance of vision because their teammates only know how to kick it up to beanpole strikers 80 yds ahead in the hopes of scoring against far-superior sides.
No, no, baby, come back here! It's OK, you can let out a little bit of Portuguese managers named Jose in front of me. We all do it, you can feel comfortable around me. I know, I know, the timing couldn't be worse. Just light a match and quickly wave a hand about after you finish. Don't let me forget, when you get back, that I want you to tell me more about your rainy nights in Stoke...
(slowly waking up)
Whoa, what? Huh? Was I talking out loud there? Oh, uh, yeah, just catching a bit of two-week shut-eye during the league's semi-routine International-forced hibernation. Where were we? Oh, that's right, the Arsenal resume league play tomorrow at Watford's Vicarage Road. Anyway, on to that.
Thankfully, while other title-competing clubs around us suffered pretty significant, long-term injuries, Arsenal welcomed back a pretty healthy squad to training. The usual suspects (Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky) are still out. The only real concern (no pun intended) is the status of Alexis Sanchez. Having been subjected to human rights violations by the Chilean National Team manager and forced to play in spite of injury earlier this week, there's a slight concern that the white-hot forward-slash-bringer of world peace might miss tomorrow's affair.
However, and not to completely downplay our hosts, it might be good if Arsene Wenger rotated him out and let him get a breather before next week's scary-ass Champions League group stage match versus Bayern Munich. If Arsenal fail to get points in their visit to a place Hector Bellerin once spent time on loan at without Alexis, then they have far greater issues to worry about. Thankfully, hopefully, I don't see that being too much of a concern.
The Hornets, playing for the first time in the EPL in eight years, have a respectable eight points out of 10 matches, good enough for 12th place at the moment. While they are led by a surprising Odion Ighalo and his five goals, and a man known well among these parts, Etienne Capoue, there's just not enough here that should prevent Arsenal from netting three points - Alexis or not.
Watford vs. Arsenal
English Premier League
Vicarage Road, Watford
12:30pm EDT / 11:30am CDT / 9:30am PDT
HOW (to watch):
US viewers: NBC / Worldwide: livesoccertv.com