Ice-cold Watford and stunned Newcastle United tangle Saturday at St. James’ Park in a match of remarkable desperation for two Premier League sides hoping to stay in the top-flight next season (watch live, 10am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).
The visitors would be on the worst run of any team in the division were it not for bottom-placed Norwich City, and are without double-digit players and perhaps their most lethal striker when they visit the Magpies, a combination of injuries, illness, and the Africa Cup of Nations.
Newcastle and its new boss, Eddie Howe, would’ve circled this match long ago as a prime opportunity for three points, but a shocking home loss to Cambridge United in the FA Cup has left their home stadium feeling like anything but a fortress.
Newcastle has added Kieran Trippier since the start of the January transfer window and is rumored to be putting the finished touches on the signing of Chris Wood from Burnley in what would simultaneously ding a relegation rival and ease the burden on the squad after an injury to Callum Wilson.
Watford begins the day in 17th place, two points ahead of Burnley and Newcastle. The Hornets have played one fewer match than the Magpies.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle vs Watford.
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Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
The Magpies will be waiting a bit for Isaac Hayden (knee), Callum Wilson (calf), and Federico Fernandez (thigh), while Javier Manquillo is suspended and Jamal Lewis (thigh) isn’t ready yet. Karl Darlow and Ciaran Clark are questionable.
Watford team news, injuries, lineup options
The Hornets are missing — deep inhale, now exhale — a lot of players, with Nicolas Nkoulou, Ismaila Sarr, Peter Etebo, Ben Foster, Imran Louza, Adam Masina, William Troost-Ekong, and Kwadwo Baah. Emmanuel Dennis could be missing, and Kiko Femenia’s status in in question along with Christian Kabasele.
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
The Magpies are favored to win to the tune of +100, with +255 coming for a draw. Watford’s underdog role would pay out +250 for a win.
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Newcastle vs Watford prediction
The Magpies probably have enough talent to get the job done against shorthanded Watford even without Callum Wilson, especially if Allan Saint-Maximin is at his best. Watford’s back line is in bad shape and the hosts will be extra ornery following their loss to the U’s. Newcastle 2-1 Watford.