Newcastle United vs Watford Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

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Watford travel to Newcastle in their next Premier League clash on Saturday. Both teams are in similar form coming into this tie and both will be looking to improve upon recent results.

Newcastle have slipped into the bottom half of the table after a crushing 4-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend. Meanwhile, Watford are coming off a win against West Ham in their last fixture after losing their last three.

Marco Silva's Watford will be looking to reclaim their title as the surprise package of the season, while Rafael Benitez's Newcastle will look to maintain their solid start to their Premier League return.

Here's how both teams are shaping up ahead of Saturday's match.

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Classic Encounter


Before Watford were promoted to the Premier League again in 2015, you would have to go back five years to remember a meeting between the Hornets and Newcastle United. Even so, these two sides have met each other less than ten times this century.

But Newcastle and Watford did put on a 2-2 extra time thriller in the League Cup in November 2006.

Antoine Sibierski headed Newcastle in front in the opening five minutes of play after he latched onto an Emre free-kick. Damien Francis drew Watford level in the second half which forced extra time.

Danny Shittu put the hosts in front when his header found the net early in the second half of extra time. But Scott Parker was on hand to rescue Newcastle when his cool finish brought the game level again minutes before the final whistle.

Penalties followed and Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper was the hero on the night when he saved Watford's final penalty by Jordan Stewart. Newcastle won 5-4 on penalties and progressed to the League Cup quarter final.

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Key Battles

Jonjo Shelvey vs Tom Cleverley


Two English central midfielders will battle it out for dominance in the middle of the park. Both players tend to play alongside a more attacking midfielder and so both Cleverley and Shelvey will be tasked with controlling play in midfield.

Cleverley and Shelvey can be considered as two similar sorts of midfielders. They are two adept passers of the ball, as well as both capable of fulfilling defensive duties in midfield.

For both teams, a lot of their goal scoring output has come from midfield. For Newcastle, Matt Ritchie has produced five assists, while for Watford Abdoulaye Doucouré has four goals.

This is a match which could be won in midfield and Jonjo Shelvey and Tom Cleverley will go head to head to try and dominate that area.

Richarlison vs DeAndre Yedlin & Ciaran Clark


Richarlison has been Watford's player of the season so far. With five goals and four assists this season, the Brazilian forward has contributed to nearly half of Watford's Premier League goals this term.

With another goal last weekend against West Ham, Watford will look to their young star Richarlison to shine again on Saturday.

Then men who will be tasked with keeping Richarlison quiet include DeAndre Yedlin and Cieran Clark.

Despite conceding four in their last match to Manchester United, Newcastle have been fairly strong defensively this season. The Magpies had conceded ten goals from eleven league games prior to the Man Utd defeat.

Yedlin and Clark have been regulars in Newcastle's defence this season, but will have to be at their best to keep Richarlison out. If they can nullify the Brazilian, much of Watford's attacking threat would be quashed.

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Team News


Newcastle will be without Isaac Hayden as the midfielder has picked up a one-match suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card against Manchester United last weekend.

Jamaal Lascelles is likely to miss as he recovers from an ankle injury. Christian Atsu is also unlikely to feature due to a thigh problem.

Paul Dummett has returned to full training following a thigh injury, as has midfielder Mikel Merino, who could be available for selection on Saturday.

For Watford, Troy Deeney will complete his three-match ban for violent conduct on Saturday and remains unavailable.

Marco Silva will hope that Kiko Fermenia will recover in time after picking up a knock in their last match against West Ham. Nathaniel Chalobah, Craig Cathcart, and Isaac Success remain ruled out.

Potential Newcastle Starting Lineup: Elliot; Yedlin, Clark, Lejeune, Manquillo; Murphy, Shelvey, Merino, Ritchie; Gayle, Joselu.

Potential Watford Starting Lineup: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Fermenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas; Hughes, Richarlison; Gray.

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Both teams are in similar form going into this match. Watford have just recovered from a three-game losing streak with a win against West Ham. Meanwhile, Newcastle are on a losing streak of their own and have not won in their last three.

Both teams are in need of a result in order to maintain their presence in the top half of the Premier League table. If previous results are anything to go by, then goals are likely to come at both ends of the pitch.

But despite goals, Watford and Newcastle are likely to share the spoils on Saturday.

Prediction: Newcastle United 1 - 1 Watford