Newcastle have the chance to move out of the relegation zone against Watford today.
With Burnley’s game postponed, a win against the Hornets will mean Eddie Howe’s side are no longer in the bottom three.
That’s a huge incentive for a team that needs to respond after last week’s cup humiliation. But how will Howe lineup against Watford?
League debut for Kieran Trippier
Kieran Trippier made his debut last week against Cambridge United, and looked solid in a poor Newcastle team. He’ll be hoping for more from his teammates this time out.
He should be joined in defence by captain Jamaal Lascelles, who was missing last week. However, he has been pictured in training and should start alongside Fabian Schar.
Newcastle had hoped to sign a new centre-back for this game, but that hasn’t happened.
Matt Ritchie will continue at left-back, with Javi Manquillo suspended and Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett ‘edging closer’ to a return.
Chance for Joe Willock against Watford
There’s a midfield place that is up for grabs at Newcastle at the moment. Yet no one has nailed down that place alongside Jonjo Shelvey.
It’s actually became a midfield three in recent weeks, with Joelinton operating in a deeper role.
Sean Longstaff has started the previous two games, but we expect Joe Willock to come back into the starting XI.
Willock really struggled off the bench last week, but perhaps a show of faith from Howe could boost his confidence. He’s more of an attacking threat than Longstaff, which could give us an edge over Watford’s inexperienced backline amid their new additions.
Regardless, the threat of a new signing looms large over Newcastle’s current centre-midfield options.
Chris Wood goes straight into Newcastle starting lineup
Newcastle United made their second signing this week, bringing in Chris Wood from Burnley.
With Callum Wilson out injured, the new arrival is expected to make his Toon debut straight away.
Fans are excited by this smart addition, and there’ll be a lot of hope that he can net a goal on his first appearance in black and white.
Predicted XI: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie; Fraser, Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin; Wood