Newcastle United are back at St James’ Park this weekend to face Watford, following their hard fought point against Southampton last time out.
Ten games in and Newcastle are yet to record a victory, only three teams in Premier League history have avoided relegation after starting the season without a win during the first ten fixtures. Newcastle really have to step things up or they will be cut adrift very quickly.
Watford sit 7th in the table with 19 points, a position Newcastle fans can only dream of at the moment. The Hornets have won two games on the spin after a small stutter, they have in large been impressive so far this season. This will be a tough game for Newcastle, in this fixture last season Rafael Benitez’s side were torn apart by Watford, losing 0-3. In fact, the Hornets have won the last five meetings between the two sides.
Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon came off the bench against Southampton last weekend, meaning Rafael Benitez has a fully fit squad to choose from, with the exception of long term absentee Florian Lejuene. Watford captain Troy Deeney missed the victory against Huddersfield and looks set to miss out again. Defender Craig Cathcart was forced off against Huddersfield, Watford manager Javi Gracia will need to reorganise his defence as a result.
Rumours are circulating that Ayoze Perez could drop to the bench, with Rondon replacing the Spaniard. Perez has really struggled for form in the opening ten games, now would be the right time to take him out of the firing line.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Muto; Rondon.
Watford: Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Mariappa, Masina; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Deulofeu, Pereyra; Success.
Newcastle have lacked creativity so far this season, while Jonjo Shelvey has tried to pull the strings, there has been little to no movement in the final third. Unfortunately, I think Watford will be too strong for Newcastle. Newcastle 1 Watford 2