Newcastle v Watford predictions: Relegation rivals can put on a show
New signings may not lead to immediate success for Magpies
Free football tips, best bets and analysis for Newcastle v Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.
When to bet
Over 2.5 goals
1pt 4-5 general
New signing Chris Wood is expected to make his debut in the absence of the injured Callum Wilson. Javier Manquillo is suspended while Paul Dumett and Jamal Lewis are doubts.
New signings Hassane Kamara, Edo Kayembe and Samir could feature but Peter Etebo, Ismaila Sarr and Nicolas Nkoulou are out. Imran Louza, Adam Masina and William Troost-Ekong are at Afcon, but Ben Foster is set to return in goal. Emmanuel Dennis, Kiko Femenia and Christian Kabasele face late fitness tests.
The stakes don’t get much higher than this for these Premier League relegation rivals, although that doesn’t mean Saturday’s showdown at St James' Park is going to be a cagey contest.
Newcastle have managed only one win from their first 19 games and they have also kept just one clean sheet, so attack may be the best form of defence as they bid to beat the drop.
The Magpies’ new riches have helped them recruit Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood and while more transfers are expected, it would be rash to demand immediate success.
Despite fielding a full-strength 11, Eddie Howe’s side crashed out of the FA Cup third round at home to League One Cambridge last weekend, and they have also dropped 19 points from winning positions in the league.
Watford aren’t faring much better, having suffered six straight defeats, but they have netted in five of those reverses and look set to be bolstered by the return of Emmanuel Dennis, who has been directly involved in 13 of their 22 league goals.
Watford have gone 28 consecutive top-flight matches without a clean sheet.
Penalty taker Chris Wood/Matt Ritchie
Free-kick wizard Kieran Trippier
Set-piece aerial threat Jamaal Lascelles/Chris Wood
Card magnet Jamaal Lascelles/Matt Ritchie
Penalty taker Joshua King
Free-kick wizard Juraj Kucka
Set-piece aerial threat Francisco Sierralta
Card magnet Emmanuel Dennis
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