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Arteta to field a strong team to face Watford on Sunday

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has revealed he will field a strong team to face Watford on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Gunners host Watford on Sunday in what could be the Hornet’s final game as a Premier League club.

With two relegation spots yet to be confirmed, they will need to better Aston Villa’s result versus West Ham if they want to retain their status in the league. Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s clash against Everton could also be a deciding factor in who stays up and who goes down.

Speaking to the media ahead of the final game of the season, Arteta announced his intention to play a strong team out of respect.

“Ideally I want to play as strong a team as I can. We have to respect that there are a few teams in a relegation battle and we have to respect that as well,” he said.

“We have a responsibility to the other clubs and a responsibility to win any game. If mentally we are not ready or our level of application is not 100 per cent, then you have a problem.”

With Arsenal set to face Chelsea next Saturday in the FA Cup final, some speculated that Arteta would field a weaker team to prevent any major injuries. But the Spaniard’s comments hint he will do whatever he can to win the game.

“The best way to prepare for the [FA Cup] final is to give it 100 per cent in this next game and get our momentum back,” Arteta said. “We cannot go into the game with a lack of intensity when it comes to 50-50s and things like that.”

Regardless of the result on Sunday, Arsenal will finish outside of the top six for the first time in 25 years. While the Gunners could still finish the season with the FA Cup and Europa League football next season, the Gunners boss said it still will not be a successful season for the club.

“It is not the level for this football club,” he said.

“There is a big gap there that needs to be minimised as quickly as possible. This is a beautiful challenge to bring the club back to where they should be but we know it will be difficult because of what the other teams are doing.”

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