Match Preview Newcastle United vs Watford – prediction, team news, lineups
Newcastle United have moved quickly in the winter transfer window, signing experienced names such as Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood. Yet last weekend’s embarrassing 1-0 FA Cup home defeat to lower league Cambridge United was a reminder that there’s still big flaws in this squad. That made it a fifth straight game without a win for the ‘Magpies’ who come into this clash hoping to win their first PL home game of the year since 2012.
This will actually be Newcastle’s first league fixture since their 1-1 home draw back on December 27 with Manchester United. Although that was a decent point on paper, that result made it 19 points dropped from winning positions for Newcastle this season, a concern made worse by the fact they failed to win either of the previous two H2Hs despite scoring first.
Watford head to the North East on the back of six straight PL defeats, and a seventh would see them leapfrogged by Newcastle and sucked into the relegation zone. Without a league clean sheet all season, it’s not hard to see what the ‘Hornets’ big issue has been since their PL return. But whilst you’d have to go back to January 2020 for the last time they secured a PL shut out on the road, it could be a good omen that it came against Newcastle boss Eddie Howe’s previous side, Bournemouth (3-0).
There’s more positives in that the visitors have a fairly decent recent record at St James’ Park, keeping the hosts to a goal or less in each of their last five visits – only one of which ended in defeat.
Players to watch: Hoping to start his Newcastle career with a bang, new signing Wood scored for Burnley against Watford the last time he faced them. Spared selection for Nigeria’s AFCON squad, Watford’s in-form Emmanuel Dennis boasts ten goal contributions across his last nine PL matches (G6, A4).
Hot stat: Only one side has picked up more yellow cards than Newcastle this season (46).
Referee: Tierney P. (Eng)
Venue: St. James’ Park (Newcastle)