Newcastle vs Watford preview
Watch match highlights from 5.15pm on skysports.com and Sky Sports app
Last Updated: 30/08/19 12:22pm
Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Newcastle vs Watford in the Premier League.
Matt Ritchie will miss the game for Newcastle after suffering ankle ligament damage in the midweek defeat to Leicester in the Carabao Cup and he could be sidelined for around eight weeks. Allan Saint-Maximin is also set to be out for up to five weeks after aggravating a hamstring injury at Tottenham last Sunday.
Steve Bruce also has doubts over wing-backs Emil Krafth and Jetro Willems, as well as Miguel Almiron, but fellow striker Joelinton is expected to be fit. Florian Lejeune (knee), Dwight Gayle (hamstring) and Andy Carroll (ankle) are out.
Watford boss Javi Gracia has a selection headache as he has a near fully-fit squad to choose from in the search for their first Premier League point of the season.
Captain Troy Deeney is the only player unavailable after undergoing knee surgery last week, which is set to keep him sidelined for at least two months. Roberto Pereyra (thigh) is fit enough to play after missing last week's defeat against West Ham.
Record signing Ismaila Sarr marked his first Watford start with a goal in Tuesday's Carabao Cup win against Coventry, while fellow forward Danny Welbeck played 90 minutes but Gracia is keen to not rush the pair into league action.
How to watch
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- Newcastle avoided defeat in both Premier League meetings with Watford in 2018-19 (W1 D1 L0), after losing all four matches in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.
- Watford have lost their last six Premier League matches by an aggregate score of 3-16, their joint-longest losing run in the top-flight (also May 2017). The Hornets last lost seven consecutive league games back in February 1973, in the third tier (9 games).
- Newcastle have lost three of their last four Premier League games at St James' Park (W1), after winning the previous five in a row on home soil.
- Watford have lost their first three Premier League games this season; only in 1933-34 and 1934-35 have they lost their opening four league fixtures of a season (both in Division Three South).
- Watford won their first four Premier League games last season. Only one team in English top-flight history has won their first four league games one season and lost their first four the next - Stoke City in 1905-06 (finished 10th) and 1906-07 (finished 20th and relegated).
- This will be Newcastle manager Steve Bruce's first Premier League meeting with Watford. He lost his last match against them in all competitions, going down 0-1 at home with Hull in April 2013 in the Championship.
- Watford's Andre Gray has scored in both of his Premier League starts against Newcastle, with the Hornets winning both such games (November 2017 and May 2018).
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
It was a very nice result for Newcastle last weekend, may I say! The stick that was aimed at the players and Steve Bruce will be there consistently. The fans want the owner out and they will continue to strive for this. Rafael Benitez was softly going against the owner, which Steve Bruce cannot do in his situation really.
His team worked hard and Joelinton got his campaign off to a start. If they could go and win this weekend, against a team that are toiling, then this will be great. Watford have had a shocker of a start, and there is always the question as to how much time Javi Gracia is given. They got to the FA Cup final last season. Who will be the foot soldiers for Watford? Abdoulaye Doucoure has not started in great fashion. Where have Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra been? They started like a train last season.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)