Normally when you are over halfway through a football season, you have some kind of an idea of what to expect week to week.

However, this is Newcastle United we are talking about.

The optimist in you will confidently expect the second half against Manchester United to be tagged onto the first half v West Ham, for Newcastle then to blow Watford away.

The pessimist will look at this as opposition Newcastle have already lost twice to this season, the second of those despite Watford leaving out four of their best players, the only possible outcome being a third defeat of the season to the Hornets.

As for the realist? Hand on heart you can’t really be confident about anything.

It may well turn out to be just what kind of service and influence Mitrovic, Wijnaldum and Shelvey have, as compared to Ighalo, Deeney and Capoue for the home side.

A game that Newcastle United can’t afford to lose but really need to win, just how will Steve McClaren approach it?

If the United boss returns to his usual negative let’s try to not concede a goal and eke out a victory, you can only see it going pear-shaped. Only four times in 25 games this season have Newcastle kept a clean sheet, with odds worse than one in six this really isn’t a strategy for success/survival.

It surely is time to unleash the hounds and let Newcastle United’s better players win the match, rather than relying on the weaker ones to save it.

In 10 Premier League matches, Watford have conceded the first goal. They haven’t won any of them.

The Hornets have drawn two and lost eight of those matches after conceding.

Taking a giant leap of faith, if Newcastle score first tomorrow then they have a four in five chance of bringing home three points.

Those are the type of odds we all need at this moment in time, when Newcastle United’s survival chances are very much in the balance.