Newcastle United v Watford Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Newcastle United v Watford match preview image

Saturday, January 26, 2019


St Jame’s Park

Punter's Pick

Watford are 11/8 with Bet365 to win on Saturday, which could prove to be good value based on the strength of both sides. Remarkably Watford only forced one corner at home to Burnley in their last fixture, whilst Newcastle forced seven against Cardiff City – expect an open game and ten corners and over at Evens with Bet365 also merits attention.

Newcastle take on Watford in one the less glamorous all Premier League clashes on Saturday, with both teams looking to supplement their Premier League campaigns with a tilt at a long FA Cup run.

Newcastle flirting with relegation

Back to back wins against Cardiff City in the league and Blackburn Rovers in their third round FA Cup replay may have temporarily lifted the gloom on Tyneside, but Newcastle remain deeply entrenched in a relegation battle. Prior to those wins, their form in league read just one win in seven games, leaving them just two points above the relegation zone. Discontent in the stands aimed at owner Mike Ashley has added to the poisonous atmosphere around St. James’ Park, and a long cup run would be a welcome distraction for both the owner and the fans enduring another fight for PL survival.

Watford seek another long cup run

Watford reached the semi-finals back in 2016, including a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United and a memorable win against holders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Hopes were high last season for another similar run, only to for the Hornets to go down to a surprise 1-0 defeat against London rivals Millwall at the same fourth round stage. Previous years have seen some unfavourable draws such as playing Chelsea in 2015 and Manchester City in 2014. With a mid-table and above position in the league looking very much attainable, they now have the chance to try and grab some silverware. With only a maximum of nine PL teams possibly making into the fifth round, including the winners of this tie, the chances of landing a reasonable fifth round draw remain high for both teams.

Previous PL meeting gives Newcastle hope

The two sides have already met at St James’ Park earlier this season, with an Ayoze Perez strike enough to give Newcastle all three points in a narrow 1-0 victory. Watford would have felt hard done by to leave with nothing to show for their efforts, as they dominated the game for long periods, including hitting the crossbar in the second half and missing a host of other chances. That win was Newcastle’s first of the season, but it appears to have been somewhat of a false dawn, with only four further wins the PL to celebrate going into this weekend’s clash.

Team news – Watford with options, will Newcastle back youth again?

With a daunting home clash against Manchester City to follow on Tuesday, manager Rafa Benitez will be contemplating whether to give youth and fringe players a chance again as per the two ties needed to get past Blackburn Rovers in the previous round. Jamie Sterry, Callum Roberts and Joselu all started the replay at Ewood Park and may figure again, despite Newcastle fans craving playing their strongest XI. Winger Kenedy is likely to be fit again to return the squad, while Freddy Woodman may get the nod in goal again for this cup tie.

Watford will also have some interesting selection decisions to make compared to the previous round, where they will able to rest several key players in easing to a 2-0 victory over minnows Woking. Key players such as Roberto Pererya, Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu sat out the previous round or only emerged from the substitutes’ bench. But with a wealth of options available to him in a quietly efficient squad, manager Javi Gracia may up the ante compared to the previous round. One player who is likely to miss out is influential midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, who continues to struggle with a knee injury.

Watford’s greater depth gives them the edge

Given Watford’s greater and better quality squad options, and some strong away performances in the PL already this season, the Hornets will fancy their chances of progressing to the fifth round at the first time of asking. Newcastle may again look to rest key first team players, but their squad depth does not allow them to compete at anywhere near the same level if Watford also choose to do the same.

Punter's Pick

Watford are 11/8 with Bet365 to win on Saturday, which could prove to be good value based on the strength of both sides. Remarkably Watford only forced one corner at home to Burnley in their last fixture, whilst Newcastle forced seven against Cardiff City – expect an open game and ten corners and over at Evens with Bet365 also merits attention.

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