Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Watford vs Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.
Kiko Femenia could be fit for Watford’s home match with Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Spaniard has endured a stop-start campaign due to a thigh injury sustained at the end of last season but featured in the win at Norwich last time out and, although he was forced off with a niggle, he has returned to training and is in contention.
Goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann is not expected to feature due to a knee injury and, while Joao Pedro has recovered from a similar issue, this game is set to come too soon for him.
Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles and key midfielder Joe Willock are out of the trip to Vicarage Road.
Defender Lascelles damaged a thigh muscle in last Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Leeds, while summer signing Willock suffered a freak toe injury in training, and both men are likely to be sidelined until after the forthcoming international break.
Striker Callum Wilson (thigh) also remains in the treatment room, as do ‘keepers Martin Dubravka (foot) and Freddie Woodman (hip), defender Paul Dummett and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (both calf).
How to follow
Follow Watford vs Newcastle in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel from 5.15pm.
Last time out…
Whoever stops the opposition’s star man most efficiently wins this match. All Watford’s incisive play goes through Ismaila Sarr and he possesses the quality to be their leader – as seen by his brace at Norwich last weekend. And then there is of course Allan Saint-Maximin, who makes football such a joy to watch when given space and time to showcase his speed and talent. However, there is absolutely no chance that Watford will allow him to run amok in the way Leeds did last Friday.
Just listen to their boss, Xisco Munoz: “He is a top, top player and he is vitally important for how well Newcastle play. We have put together a plan but I can’t say too much.”
Watford’s ploy is an obvious one. They are likely to double team him and when he does wriggle free, expect a cynical foul to come his way. Saint-Maximin averages getting fouled 2.41 times per 90 minutes in the Premier League and no side has made more fouls than Watford this season (67) – that’s 11 more than any other side.
Australian referee Jarred Gillett, who will be the first overseas official to referee a Premier League match, could have a busy afternoon on his hands. My main play will be to bank on Craig Cathcart, who will be lining up directly against the central Saint-Maximin, to pick up a booking at 5/1 with Sky Bet.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
- Watford have won five of their 12 Premier League meetings with Newcastle (D4 L3) – no side have they beaten more in the competition. Indeed, their 19 points against the Magpies is more than they’ve earned against any other opponent in the Premier League.
- Newcastle have won just one of their last nine away league games against Watford (D4 L4), while they’ve never won a top-flight match at Vicarage Road before (D5 L5).
- Watford have won 13 of their last 15 home league games (L2), losing their last such match at Vicarage Road 2-0 against Wolves. They’ve not lost back-to-back home league games since November 2019.
- Newcastle have failed to win any of their five Premier League games this season (D2 L3). They could become the first team to fail to win any of their first six on as many as six different occasions in the competition, with the Magpies previously doing so in 1999-00, 2003-04, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2018-19.
- Newcastle won 2-0 at Fulham on the final day last season – they’ve not won consecutive Premier League matches against promoted sides since November 2015, while they haven’t done so away from home since winning all three such games in 2013-14.
- Newcastle have faced more shots than any other side in the Premier League this season (93), and also have the highest xG against total in the competition this term (11.95).
- Just one of Watford’s 21 corners in the Premier League this season has led to a chance, fewer than any other side in the competition. Meanwhile, only Manchester United (eight), Brighton (11) and Liverpool (12) have had more corners leading to an attempt than Newcastle (seven).
- Newcastle have made fewer presses than any other Premier League side so far this season (56), with a press being defined as two or more defending players applying pressure at the same time to one or more opposition players.
- As well as being Watford’s top scorer in the Premier League with three goals this season, Ismaila Sarr has created the most chances (nine), had the most shots (13) and completed the most dribbles (16) of any player for the Hornets this term.
- Allan Saint-Maximin has been directly involved in three goals in his last three Premier League games for Newcastle (two goals, one assist), as many as in his previous 12 for the Magpies. This is the first time in his Premier League career he’s been involved in a goal in three consecutive appearances.