Watford (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

Aside from the two side’s bids to finish in the top 10, this one is the very definition of a dead rubber – however Benitez will be desperate to avoid a third straight defeat.

Our turnaround in form in 2018 has been superb, but back to back defeats to Everton and West Brom mean our season is in danger of ending on a sour note if we don’t pull our socks up here.

Watford are on awful form themselves, having not won in nine now, but we don’t tend to have too much success at Vicarage Road. That may need to change tomorrow if we’re serious about consolidating our spot in the top 10.

The likes of Palace, Bournemouth and Watford are all just three points away from us, so that combined with our tough final two games of the season (Spurs and Chelsea) put the emphasis on us to get three points here.

Staying up was the aim, so this season has to be seen as a success regardless of where we end up now, but it’d be far better if we can finish 10th opposed to 13th – with each place in the league accounting for almost £2m prize money.



Preferred XI

Rafa has confirmed there’ll be a few changes and I’m glad to hear it after two pretty abject displays over the last two weeks.

Here’s the side I’d like to see:

A few changes and some fresh blood could be just what this team lacking motivation needs. Merino and Murphy will be eager to impress and force their way back into Rafa’s plans.

Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Manquillo, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Merino – Murphy, Perez, Kenedy –  Gayle.

The Opposition

Here’s a few players to watch out for:

Abdoulaye Doucoure – One of the most underrated player in the league for me and someone I fully expect to earn a big move this summer. Mo Diame will have a big battle on his hands here.

Andre Gray – A player we looked at last summer but someone who’s scored just four goals all season. He’s missed plenty sitters whenever I’ve watched him so lets hope he keeps that up tomorrow.

Richarlison – Tore Yedlin apart when they romped to a 3-0 win at St James’ Park when we met earlier in the season. His form has dipped since, but he’ll still be one of their biggest threats.

Gerard Deulofeu – Looks like he’s back fit for this one after coming on the bench against Spurs on Monday night. He’s tricky, quick and has plenty quality too. Hoping he’s not ready to start, but fear he could be the difference is he does.

Predicted Watford XI – (4-4-2) – Karnezis – Femenia, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas – Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Perreya, Richarlison – Deeney.

For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 10th (41 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 3 / Drawn: 0 / Lost: 2

Watford – 13th (38 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 0 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 3

 

Team news

Atsu and Clark have been ruled out of this one. Merino is back in contention after returning to training, but Slimani will miss out from suspension.

Expecting changes after what Rafa said in his press conference today.

Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu could return after making an impact from the bench on Monday on his injury comeback.

Troy Deeney is fit,  but midfielder Roberto Pereyra remains a doubt with a groin injury.

 

Match Prediction

They wiped the floor with us at St James’ earlier in the season, but both team’s fortunes have changed quite a bit since then.

I see us having a bit more about us and am hoping possible starts for Merino and Murphy give us a fresh injection of urgency, but this one just stinks of draw for me.

They will want to end their winless run and we’ll want to get some points back on the board, so a scoring draw seems about right to me.

Prediction: Watford 1-1 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

59 thoughts on “Watford (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. This one is very hard to call because it depends on which NUFC and which Watford turn up. We easily could have taken points from our last 2 games if Dwight Gayle had had more luck/taken his chances. Goals always colour match reports. If we had just knocked one in against West Brom the reports would have been that we ground out a point not were abysmal as many reports said.

    With Watford they have 3 maverick players in Ricarlison, Deulefeu and Gray. They are all likely to leave so I doubt that they will have much to play for (famous last words 🙂 ).

    I think I will go with Olly and 1-1.

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  2. How is this possible? Brighton have looked the better team but some of the players Man U have on the pitch should be ashamed of themselves. They will probably luck a win, but still:

    Pogba – 90 million
    Dea Gea – said to be worth 100 million
    Lukaku – 80 million
    Rashford – I saw a 100 mil valuation the other day, which is crazy
    Fellaini – 25 mil
    Young – 35 mil
    Mata – 45 mil
    Matic – 35 mil

    They also have 80 million of centre backs on the bench.

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  3. Buzzing for Chris Houghton and his boys – excellent win tonight and great achievement to gain survival with games to play.

    Man Utd under Jose are absolutely horrible to watch. Eric is right, so much money spend but no team built.

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  4. I hope we win tomorrow, but I almost don’t care about the football anymore this season. All I’m bothered about now – or should I say the only thing I place any importance on is getting Rafa and next seasons transfer budget sorted – that’s all that really matters to me now.

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  5. I see the indignation that Neville didn’t mention Rafa in his Manager of the Year conversation. Did he mention Hughton? I think Rafa, Hughton and Dyche are the managers who did the best with the least, but City are going for all sorts of records so there is only one winner. They may even have been knocked out of the CL by the eventual winners and even so reached the QFs.

    I think you can compare it to the Oscars when Rocky won. It was a very good film but it beat out one of the all time great films in Goodfellows. In retrospect, Goodfellows was the obvious choice which is how we will see it with Pep, win or lose. I think he will win though.

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  6. For all of Man Us expensive talent Knockheart outplayed the lot of them, and I think he was a Leicester reject (Slimani anyone? At 30 they are not getting 20 mil for him and I don’t see anybody queueing up for him. If Rafa wants him he will be able to get him at a decent price).

    But Brighton were the much better team. Man U didn’t have a shot in the 1st half and were in Brighton’s box once. But the possession stats showed they had 65%. I almost think this stat should not be mentioned because a lot of the time it is just passing back and forth in the middle 3rd and really says nothing about he actual game.

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  7. Eric Sykes:
    For all of Man Us expensive talent Knockheart outplayed the lot of them, and I think he was a Leicester reject (Slimani anyone? At 30 they are not getting 20 mil for him and I don’t see anybody queueing up for him. If Rafa wants him he will be able to get him at a decent price).

    But Brighton were the much better team. Man U didn’t have a shot in the 1st half and were in Brighton’s box once. But the possession stats showed they had 65%. I almost think this stat should not be mentioned because a lot of the time it is just passing back and forth in the middle 3rd and really says nothing about he actual game.

    Agree mate

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  8. Well, I am a bit more hopeful now that Lawro has predicted a loss. He has said that NUFC are already at the beach. Has he seen Watford’s recent form and they are practically safe, even if not mathematically? Yet another stupid comment as if anything both teams could be accused of fighting over the sunbeds for the past couple of weeks.

    I will have to check in with Merse.

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  9. There has been a “late substitution” (Sky’s words) for Merse this week, and Charlie Nicholas predicts 1-0 to Watford. That is a bit of a flippant way of putting it if there is a family situation with Merson because I don’t really see any other reason he would take the last but one weekend off from predictions.

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  10. Sharpy17:
    I hope we win tomorrow, but I almost don’t care about the football anymore this season.All I’m bothered about now – or should I say the only thing I place any importance on is getting Rafa and next seasons transfer budget sorted – that’s all that really matters to me now.

    i agree mate,trouble is i smell a rat with jabba this isnt going well,Rafa talking in press this morning changed from y/day

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  11. icedog: i agree mate,trouble is i smell a rat with jabba this isnt going well,Rafa talking in press this morning changed from y/day

    seconded Ice, the ability of the fatman to royally f888 up a good thing is second to none. This is such a delicate stage of the clubs history and to know it’s in the hands of such a malevolent and avaricious individual, not to mention duplicitous, scares me to death. How could ANY manager hope to have a chance negotiating with that man.
    Oh for new owners. They don’t have to be that rich, just honest, straight forward with the clubs best interest at heart would do me.

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  12. georgio:
    honest, straight forward– Not may of those around Kim! Gibson at Boro maybe?

    How about Ellis Short 🙂 It seems he had Sunderland’s best interests at heart and still royally messed up. Total losses were 250 million. He just wrote off his own debt of 70 mil and repaid the bank debt of 60 mil so he could keep them out of administration and give the new owners a chance. Nice of him but I think the new owners are chancers judging by their record at non-league Eastleigh.

    Still, it was a good gesture from Short. Do you think the Fatman would do the same if we were in that situation?

    When you think about it with Fatty wanting 400 million and Short LOSING 250 million that puts the values of the 2 clubs 650 million apart. Unbelievable and shows it could be worse, even with somebody with good intentions.

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  13. The joke used to be that if you wanted to make a small fortune you start with a large fortune and buy a football club.

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  14. Not looking forward to the match today really. I think our lot really are on the beach already.. another 1-0 loss most likely… although I still have hope that we will actually try to win… let’s see

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  15. Anyway, flying to Italy tonight after the match as my step daughter is is getting married in Sorrento… so I’ll forget about footy for a while… 😁

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  16. Dubai Toon:
    Not looking forward to the match today really. I think our lot really are on the beach already..another 1-0 loss most likely… although I still have hope that we will actually try to win… let’s see

    Have you been before? You should drive down the Amalfi Coast because at this time of year the traffic is much lighter. The trip to Capri is worth an afternoon as well just for the scenery and the grottos. Some of the little shops are OK but there are a lot of those really expensive shops making it almost like the duty free in Dubia except in narrow streets.

    My ex-wife owns a European travel company that sends rich yanks to these places so I have done a lot of these fancy trips.

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  17. I will not be voting for Mr. Roy because Zaha, Loftus Cheek, Townsend and Cabaye (among others) would walk into our team. It is not the great job he has done it is the contrast with the crap job that de Boer did. I suppose he has done OK but I still hold a grudge against him from the Euros and I hate the rehabilitation that the sycophantic journos and pundits will be doing.

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  18. Dubai Toon:
    Anyway, flying to Italy tonight after the match as my step daughter is is getting married in Sorrento… so I’ll forget about footy for a while…

    what a great place for a marriage,good luck mate you enjoy 😆

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  19. kimtoon: seconded Ice, the ability of the fatman to royally f888up a good thing is second to none. This is such a delicate stage of the clubs history and to know it’s in the hands of such a malevolent and avaricious individual, not to mention duplicitous, scares me to death. How could ANY manager hope to have a chance negotiating with that man.
    Oh for new owners. They don’t have to be that rich, just honest, straight forward with the clubs best interest at heart would do me.

    Kim i just took note two days ago when Rafa was asked if he wanted to stay he said i want to stay,this morning when asked the same he said its tricky ❓ ❓

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  20. icedog: what a great place for a marriage,good luck mate you enjoy

    Cheers mate, looking forward to it. She is marrying a Geordie lad too so had to approve 😁. Will probably miss the spurs match though. ☹️

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  21. Eric Sykes: Have you been before? You should drive down the Amalfi Coast because at this time of year the traffic is much lighter. The trip to Capri is worth an afternoon as well just for the scenery and the grottos. Some of the little shops are OK but there are a lot of those really expensive shops making it almost like the duty free in Dubia except in narrow streets.

    My ex-wife owns a European travel company that sends rich yanks to these places so I have done a lot of these fancy trips.

    Thanks Eric, been to Italy several times but not to Sorrento… heading to Rome for 5 days afterwards too … the wife has never been to either place. Hoping to get over to Capri for a day if we can… 👍

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  22. Glad that Shawcross is sending them down. He’s a dirty bastard, remember Haidara? Also broke Ramsey’s leg I think.

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  23. Dubai Toon: Cheers mate, looking forward to it. She is marrying a Geordie lad too so had to approve . Will probably miss the spurs match though.

    have a good day mate

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  24. icedog: Kim i just took note two days ago when Rafa was asked if he wanted to stay he said i want to stay,this morning when asked the same he said its tricky

    Yeah, I’m not hopeful mate tbh

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  25. Kimtoon: you haven’t got any links have you? Not going to the Pub today and we are not on regular TV.

    Butland to Liverpool !!!!

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  26. So, that’s one relegated by Hughes. I still think that Southampton are most likely to go down but agree with Stuart that Huddersfield are not safe. Might need another point.

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  27. kimtoon:
    Eric , nah mate I’m listening to radio Newcastle today

    I can listen on NUFCTV. Bloody John Anderson though, it’s like listening to Marvin the depressed robot from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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  28. How do you see it Ando? “For me, Oy tink we have been very poor today. If we play like this in the next 2 games we could easily be relegated”. But Ando we are mathematically safe. “Oh, OK maths was never my strong point at school”.

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  29. We have WBA v Spurs. That would be the funniest thing ever if they stay up. It is almost impossible but it would put into perspective the job Pards and Ugly John did. Actually, it is already in perspective but that will not stop Pards being on the pundits couch and Sky The Debate.

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  30. Good job we haven’t relied on the last 3 games to save us eh.
    Watford have been shite lately but outplaying us here.

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  31. I had to turn Ando off. He could look at a sunflower and his comment would be that it is too bright.

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  32. Sod this I’m off to do the ironing, this is shite
    2.0 and more to come by sounds of it. 👿

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  33. Bollocks. They show the scores and now down 2-0. There is definitely no way I am listening to Ando now.

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  34. Is it the proverbial double edged sword that if we lose the last 5 games of the season it will just prove how much we need more quality for next year and Ashley needs to give Rafa a decent budget?

    I was thinking about it last night that Rafa has been doing the Pardew-esque runs of good results followed by death spirals and I wasn’t confident about these last 3 games.

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  35. Icedog:
    ERIC thought you had Bein sport ??

    They don’t have the Premier League over here. NBC have it. Bein have the French, Spanish and German Leagues so I pretty much have wall to wall football.

    Most NUFC games are shown for free and I usually go to the Pub for ones that are not. Just had a feeling about today and stayed home 🙂

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  36. What a pile of shit that was… only our goalie can hold his head up at the moment. 😡😡😡

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  37. I didn’t predict a loss for NUFC because I don’t want to create bad Karma. I am usually not fatalistic but I am about NUFC 🙂

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  38. I think we can see why Manquillo doesn’t get games, but to be fair none of the team have delivered … let’s see what Rafa says at half time.

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  39. Icedog:
    Bloody good double save by the keeper from pen by Deeney

    yeah got a lot of praise from the radio coms team. Been listening while ironing, stay a lot calmer that way, plus I have a nice pile of neat gear now 🙂

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  40. Well second half somewhat better, it could hardly be worse… but still a pile of shite. Motm was Dubravka for me. Good goal by Perez.

    Looks like West Brom are coming back from the dead..😳

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  41. Baggies just running out of games I fear, one left and max points they can finish on is 34, where as saints have 3 more and swans two. would need saints to lose today and lose or draw just one of remaining 2 , they have Swans and then City after tonights Everton game.
    Not impossible but unlikely for great escape by WBA

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