Next Saturday sees Newcastle v Watford at St James Park.
The Premier League game also sees the return of the entertainers.
Only thing is this time they won’t be wearing black and white stripes.
This isn’t a dig at what Rafa has done/is doing at Newcastle United, rather a pointing out of just how good Watford have been to watch this season.
Flying a little bit under the radar, Marco Silva has produced arguably the Premier League’s most attacking side.
Yes, Manchester City do have very good players of course and undeniably are good to watch – but taking into account the more limited budget at Watford, you have to applaud the way Silva is setting his team up.
That’s not to say he wasn’t backed when picked up from Hull this summer after almost achieving the impossible, of keeping Hull up after taking over an impossible situation.
Around £30m was spent on strikers Andre Gray and Richarlison, as well as the likes of Cleverley, Chalobah, Hughes and Zeegelaar, plus Carillo on loan. A net spend of well over £40m over the course of the summer window, in excess of £55m spent in total.
Watford are currently in eighth place on 18 points but they attack every single game and have given their fans excellent entertainment.
In fact, only Manchester City and Liverpool have seen more goals in their games. The league leaders with 47 in total including 40 of their own, then Liverpool scoring 24 and conceding 17 for a total of 41, then Watford one goal behind with 40 in their 12 Premier League games – scoring 19 and conceding 21.
Below are the full list of 20 clubs, with the total number of goals in their matches before each team, then goals for and against in brackets.
Only four clubs have had fewer goals in their games than Newcastle, with the Magpies having scored 11 and conceded 14 for a total of 25.
A couple of stand out stats, with Burnley in seventh place despite having the fewest goals in their games, scoring 12 and conceding nine, yet still able to win six matches and draw four others despite only the dozen goals.
Huddersfield are another where the goals totals confound you, only scoring eight (and conceding 18), yet they are doing ok in 10th position.
47 Man City (40 + 7)
41 Liverpool (24 + 17)
40 Watford (19 + 21)
38 Arsenal (22 + 16)
36 Everton (12 + 24)
36 West Ham (11 + 25)
35 Stoke (13 + 22)
34 Leicester (16 + 18)
33 Man Utd (27 + 6)
33 Chelsea (23 + 10)
30 Crystal Palace (6 + 24)
29 Spurs (20 + 9)
27 West Brom (9 + 18)
25 Newcastle United (11 + 14)
25 Huddersfield (8 + 17)
25 Bournemouth (11 + 14)
23 Southampton (9 + 14)
22 Brighton (11 + 11)
22 Swansea (7 + 15)
21 Burnley (12 + 9)
Going back to Watford though and check out their six Premier League away results so far:
Burnley 0 Watford 2
Southampton 0 Watford 2
Swansea 1 Watford 2
West Brom 2 Watford 2
Chelsea 4 Watford 2
Everton 3 Watford 2
Difficult to get away from the fact that in every away match they have scored twice.
To put that into perspective, in all 12 Premier League games so far – home and away, Newcastle have scored three goals on one occasion, two goals twice (against Southampton and Stoke), with the other nine bringing only one goal or a blank.
It will be very interesting to see what Rafa Benitez does to counter the threat of Watford and at the same time create chances at the other end.
Quite clearly the Hornets are at their best going forward and undoubtedly they will attack Newcastle, so whatever else, I think we are set to see an open game.
However, it is a really dangerous one for Rafa because personally, I would be very pleasantly surprised if Newcastle don’t concede two or more goals
Watford’s last two games have ended in defeat but at Stamford Bridge they were 2-1 up until hit by three home goals in the last 19 minutes, whilst at Everton they were 2-0 up before a similar late collapse including a dodgy match losing penalty they conceded.
The message must be for Rafa that his team can score goals here and set his team up accordingly.
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