Doing the double over the Hornets will prove crucial in the progression of this relegation battle – Watford V Newcastle Preview

The last time these two sides met ended in a victory for the magpies, Ayoze Perez and Ki Sung-Yueng combined well to make the goal.

The reverse tie saw Newcastle pick up the first win of this campaign which then good results developed to a three game win streak. 

Newcastle are currently sat in 15th position in the Premier League on 17 points – 2 above 17th – 10 behind the opposition Watford.

With games against Manchester United and Chelsea up next, doing the double over the Hornets will prove crucial in the progression of this relegation battle. 

Because of the importance of this match for us, Newcastle will see this one out 2-1. 

Team news 

Watford are without Christian Kabasele, who was hospitalised after colliding with a goal post against Chelsea, though he escaped serious injury.

Andre Gray, Will Hughes, Adalberto Penaranda and Sebastian Prodl were all unavailable on Boxing Day and could again miss out.

Salomon Rondon is set to return to the lead the line for the toon after he was rested during the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool. 

More positive news: Jonjo Shelvey is available for selection after being absent for the last eight matches. 

jonjo thumbs up

Defender Ciaran Clark and goalkeeper Karl Darlow remain sidelined, while South Korea international Ki Sung-yueng is away on international duty.

Managers notes from Press conference: 

Rafa on defeat to Liverpool: “I was convinced we could get something with the way we prepared, but these kind of mistakes make it difficult to manage against any team, especially a team like Liverpool. We have to be stronger mentally and show more character to stay in the game.”

Rafa on the busy festive period: “We showed last year we could cope with the intensity and the number of games, and I am expecting something similar this year. I think we are capable of managing if we focus and understand everything we have to do.”

Rafa on Watford: “Some people underestimate the great job Javi Gracia is doing. They are playing well, they can compete against anyone, they can keep the ball and defend, and they have some strength physically.”

Rafa on ending 2018 on a high: “To get three points will be massive – we’ll be in a much better position in the table. But it is just as important to start 2019 well.”

Predicted XI

xi v watford

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