After getting past Blackburn, Newcastle’s next FA Cup clash is at home to Watford.
The all-Premier League tie will be an interesting one, as team selection will say a lot about each side’s cup ambitions.
We already know that Rafa Benitez can’t afford to favour the cup, but it is a good chance to build momentum, having recorded back-to-back wins against Blackburn and Cardiff.
However, Benitez is likely to shuffle his deck once again with his side due to play Manchester City on Tuesday.
Four at the back against Watford?
The two FA Cup Third Round ties saw Newcastle revert back to four in defence, and this could happen again against the Hornets. Benitez surely won’t risk three of his centre-backs.
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Ciaran Clark could start and would likely captain the side if he does. He should partner Fabian Schar, who will be hoping to continue his good form after a sensational performance against Cardiff.
Like they were against Blackburn, the full-back roles should be taken by Jamie Sterry and Javi Manquillo.
A chance for Kenedy
Kenedy has missed Newcastle last two games due to injury, but has trained ahead of the Watford game.
The Brazilian has severely under-performed this season, and should get a chance against one of his former sides to regain some form.
On the other flank, Christian Atsu may have to play. There are reports in the Express and Star that West Brom want Jacob Murphy on loan, which could mean he won’t play in the cup.
Callum Roberts deserves another chance to start after impressing against Blackburn, while other academy product Sean Longstaff should start once again.
Joselu will be the man to lead the line, just like he was against Blackburn.
Predicted XI to face Watford: Dubravka; Sterry, Schar, Clark, Manquillo; Hayden, Longstaff; Atsu, Roberts, Kenedy; Joselu.