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Newcastle United vs. Today’s Premier League: Watford

Fact: Troy Deeney is a part of a secret society of people who shine Jonjo Shelvey’s head

This is how the 2016-2017 Championship side Newcastle would fair against the 2016-2017 Premier League.

Watford’s season has been underwhelming to say the least. Currently sitting at 15th in the table, Watford will be here next season for us to play. Watford features a lot of guys past their prime like Troy Deeney, Mauro Zarate, and José Holebas; as well as some guy in the middle of their careers like Tom Cleverley and Daryl Janmaat; and of course some young future studs in M’baye Niang (on loan from AC Milan) and Isaac Success. All of these players plus their manager Walter Mazzarri are ingredients for a wildly mediocre team that I honestly think Newcastle would fare well against.

Looking at Watford they have spent the majority of the season playing a 3-5-2 that feels a lot like a 5 in the back formation . This has led to a somewhat solid defense and honestly a pretty lackluster attack. The defense is led by their summer signing from Roma José Holebas, who has by far been their best player this season. He has the highest average player rating with an average of 7.02, started the most games on the team and is among the leaders of the team in a number of defensive stats. Holebas brings the unique skillset that allows him to play every position on the left side, from Left Centerback, to Left Mid, to Left wing, he has played it all this season. He is joined by Adrian Mariappa, who leads the team in all defensive categories, and has been a solid center of their 3 in the back formation. They are joined by the likes of Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Prödl and Christian Kabasele, who have all respectively made names for themselves in the Premier league and in other European leagues. The defense has been the strongest part of this team, that being said, it is the 14th best in the league. They have conceded 58 goals and are nearly giving up 2 goals a game (1.66 to be exact). If Newcastle can break through this defense they could easily grab a goal.

Watford v Southampton - Premier League
Holebas has been a rock for this defense
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Watford’s midfield is full of a lot of familiar faces including Tom Cleverley, Étienne Capoue, and Daryl Janmaat. Janmaat and Nordin Amrabat were both brought in last July and are Watford’s two wingers. Both possess the ability to play Fullback, so they both track back often to help the defense. The middle of the field is led by Cleverly, where he is often helped by the young Mali Midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré and the Frenchman Étienne Capoue. The midfield is solid, and heavily relies on Cleverley and Capoue as a foundation. I think our Midfield including Atsu, Shelvey, Ritchie and Hayden would have little to no trouble with this Midfield. Our dangerous wingers in Atsu and Ritchie, a solid guy tracking back in Hayden , and a creative midfielder like Shelvey is sure to force these guys to send Janmaat and Amrabat back to help defend.

Watford’s attack has been poor to say the least. Their leading goalscorer has been Troy Deeney with a measly 10 goals in 34 appearances. The loan deal with M’baye Niang in January has added a much needed spark in this offense, but only for the second half of the season. Niang has been great for this side, but outside of those two, guys like Zarate and Okaka have not contributed much to their attack. They sit 17th in the league for total offense with only 37 goals scored. Against Darlow and our back line, I would imagine Watford would struggle to score.

Watford v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Niang has been the Spark Watford needed to get them out of the relegation zone
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Like I said, recipe for mediocrity. Watford, I think could snag a 0-0 draw when they are home against us because they do have a solid defense. However, when we host them I would expect nothing less than a 2-0 win.

All stats and info received from