Paul Merson predicts Newcastle vs Watford, comments on new signings & huge 3 weeks

Paul Merson believes Newcastle United will come away with a 1-1 draw in today’s crucial clash with Watford at St James’ Park.

He feels the arrivals of Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood bring two ‘good pros’ who will ‘roll their sleeves up and fight for the team’, but still fears for us, wondering how we’ll manage to bring players to the club who genuinely want to be here (an odd comment when we’ve just signed a proven Premier League striker and current England international…)

Merson reckons we need a win, but thinks this relegation six-pointer will end in a frustrating draw, feeling Watford are more of a threat up top and fearing for us after last week’s humiliation in the FA Cup.

Here’s what the Sky Sports pundit told Sportskeeda ahead of the game:

The next three weeks will determine if Newcastle United stay up this season.

“I know they’ve signed Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier – two good pros who will roll up their sleeves and fight for the team – but I worry for them.

“Who else could they get? You have to go for the players who want to come to Newcastle and it has to be said that there are a few who don’t want to, as was the case with Lucas Digne, who moved to Aston Villa from Everton.

They’ve won just one Premier League game this season and lost to Cambridge United despite fielding their strongest XI, which is just not good enough.

“A draw would do no favors for Newcastle, but that’s my prediction for this relegation six-pointer this week.

“Watford have to come away without getting beat and I think they have the quality to do that as they are more of a threat up front than Newcastle.

It’s an absolute miracle that each of the bottom four have a chance of staying up – a win or two can change the landscape completely.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Watford

Snapshot of the bottom of the Premier League: 15th Everton, 16th Leeds, 17th Watford, 18th Burnley, 19th Newcastle & 20th Norwich

On the flip side, the BBC’s Mark Lawrenson is backing us to come away with a 2-1 win at a packed out St James’ Park.

Here’s what he’s had to say:

Chris Wood should go straight into the Newcastle side and I can see why they bought him.

He is not a prolific goalscorer but he is a powerful force up front, and will hold the ball up.

You can just picture the scene at St James’ Park – there will be a full house and, after signing Wood, they will all be expecting a really good performance and a win.

Newcastle need it, not just to improve their own situation but to keep Watford right in the relegation mix as well.

The problem Eddie Howe’s men have there is that, defensively, we know they are all over the place.

I still think the Magpies will win, because Watford are leaking a lot of goals and losing a lot of games, but it might be a tense finish and Newcastle will need their fans as well as Wood to get them over the line.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1.

A mammoth game at St James’ Park and one we must win. It’s time to step up and respond.


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.

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