Newcastle are in desperate need of a win, and their next chance to get one is against an in-form Watford side.
The Hornets have been one of the surprise packages of the season so far, with Javi Gracia’s side performing brilliantly.
Watford didn’t do much business over the summer, but they have started the campaign in fine form. They have stars all over the pitch, which is a big worry for Rafa Benitez.
So how will the Spaniard line up on Saturday?
No need to change anything at the back
Last week, the Magpies were able to keep a clean sheet. It was mainly down to the heroics of Martin Dubravka, who has picked up where he left off last season.
Paul Dummett also did well at St Mary’s, and he’ll be in the back four alongside DeAndre Yedlin, Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles, who received a new contract this week.
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How can Newcastle match Watford’s midfield?
Against Southampton, Newcastle were unable to get any sort of control of the game. And against Watford, it will probably be even trickier.
The combination of Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure are performing brilliantly, and will be a tough duo to stop. At St Mary’s, Benitez brought on Ki Sung Yueng for the struggling Mo Diame, and we’re predicting that the South Korean could get a start.
Diame has been poor this season, so it might be time to try something different in the middle. While Ki isn’t as athletic as Diame, he’s much better on the ball and should be able to link up with Jonjo Shelvey.
Rondon to start?
Salomon Rondon returned from injury last weekend.
The forward was a second half substitute, and will hopefully be fit enough to start on Saturday. Rondon is yet to make an impact, but neither have any of the other attacking options in black and white.
In an ideal world, the on-loan striker comes into the team in place of Ayoze Perez. The Spaniard has been shocking, and needs some time out of the limelight.
Predicted starting XI against Watford: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Ritchie, Ki, Shelvey, Kenedy; Muto, Rondon.