This is my Newcastle team v Watford to take the pitch on Saturday.

Rafa Benitez has already ruled Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu out, plus Paul Dummett is almost certain not to be ready either have his long-term injury, certainly not to start anyway.

Once again the United boss facing the challenge of trying to make Newcastle more of a threat up front, whilst at the same time keeping it tight at the back.

Against both Bournemouth and Man Utd the team played very well for the first half hour or so  but couldn’t sustain it over 90 minutes.

This Saturday sees dangerous opposition, with Watford scoring twice in all six of their Premier League away matches so far.

I think we need to play to our strengths and with no obvious left-back option, at least until Paul Dummett returns, I would love to see Chancel Mbemba brought in as one of three centre-backs.

This would allow Matt Ritchie and DeAndre Yedlin to play as wing-backs, both of them able to get up and down the pitch. This could also help stifle the visitors’ dangerous attack, then the three central defenders offering a solid base. All three of them are quite comfortable on the ball so they can bring the ball forward to an extent, instead of always needing to hand it to Jonjo Shelvey dropping too far back.

Hayden is suspended so it gives Rafa an extra problem. Mikel Merino will automatically come back in if he has proved his fitness after a back problem, the Spaniard having been back in training this week.

Mohamed Diame has done little to suggest he should be included but with few other options, I would put him into the middle as he can do a job as a defensive midfielder, when not expected to contribute much going forward.

This would allow Jonjo Shelvey to play further forward and hopefully help him to use the wing-backs in an attacking sense.

Dwight Gayle is looking like a Premier League striker now he has his fitness back and he must start, I have put Joselu alongside him but I do think it is a toss of the coin on whether Mitrovic deserves to come in instead.

My Newcastle team v Watford:

newcastle team v watford

Newcastle v Watford Match Betting:

Newcastle win 6/5 Draw 12/5Watford 13/5

NUFC to win and both teams to score 7/2Watford to win and both teams to score 6/1Game to end 0-0 15/2

All Newcastle v Watford betting HERE

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  • TheNutJob

    Watford are playing well & score goals, if they score can we really score 2 with the likes of Hoss in the attack, this games a banana skin

  • Paul Patterson

    Rafa won’t change the system, end of..

  • S.G.M.

    Dream on Jack

  • Peaky Magpie

    We need to start and get our goal difference back in the black before Chelsea,Arsenal & Man City but the 3 points are more important at this given time.This game won’t be easy,Watford are a decent team.

  • NUFC9

    We have enough decent center backs to play that system. Yedlin is suited to playing as a wing back but Dummett isn’t and Ritchie isn’t a defender. Benitez clearly wants a new left back. If he is allowed to bring one in in Jan it would be interesting to see what type of player he goes for. If we had a left sided wing back I think we’d have a good squad to play that system.

    It would also reduce the need for a quality (expensive) No 10 as the extra bodies in a narrower midfield would mean Merino, Shelvey, Ritchie, Atsu, etc. would float around behind the main striker as Sterling, Sane, Silva, De Bruyne do for Man City for example.

  • Mike Adam

    If Horselu is in the lineup, we will be playing with 10 men again! Please Rafa play someone, anyone else!!!

  • 1957

    Benitez will revert to type after after two games where he was more attacking. It will be the same back four and keeper, SloMo will replace Hayden and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gayle as a lone striker supported by Perez, although we are just as likely to see Hoss starting in place of Gayle. The big problems will be, Perez is mostly ineffective and SloMo will make Tom Cleverly look like a world class player.

    Watford aren’t a bad side, with loads of pace, they will give us real problems. We need to get ahead in the game, if they get the first goal we will struggle to come back

  • Viru leckworth

    Gayle looked near back to his best. I think he will be Rafa’s first choice striker against Watford. I think Joselu will be dropped in favour of Perez.