Watford welcome Newcastle United to Vicarage Road for a potentially crucial Premier League clash.
Newcastle are already safe from the drop but Watford need a win here to secure safety ahead of final day and avoid needing midweek results to do them a favour.
Roberto Pereyra could return from a groin injury here for Watford.
Nathaniel Chalobah is ruled out of this match but could return in the Hornets’ final game at Manchester United the following Sunday.
Tommie Hoban (knee), Tom Cleverley (thigh) and Younes Kaboul (ankle) are all ruled out of the final two matches.
Its unclear when Stefano Okaka could return from a thigh injury.
Newcastle could have Mikel Merino back from a knee injury whilst Christian Atsu remains sidelined with same issue.
Leicester loanee, Islam Slimani will miss the Magpies’ final three games through suspension after accepting a violent conduct charge.
Watford are winless in last seven, drawing two and losing five.
Both draws came in two of their last three home games, sandwiched by a 2-1 defeat to Burnley either side of their draws.
- Watford have won their last four meetings against Newcastle in all competitions, having previously taken a draw from previous six.
- Two of those games were won by a 2-1 result.
- Watford’s 3-0 win at St James Park in November was their biggest away win and Newcastle’s biggest home loss margin this season.
- Watford have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven, drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace in last home game.
- Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles has made the ninth most clearances this season, clearing the ball 210 times.
- Watford are one win away from equalling last season’s total of 11 and already have two more goals than they managed in each of previous two seasons.
- Abdoulaye Doucoure is Watford’s top scorer with seven goals but is on course to be Watford’s second worst top scorer with that goal total, only behind Hameur Bouazza in 2006-07 who was their top scorer with just six goals that season.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Watford (home)||Newcastle United (away)|
|Shots on Target||3.44||4.41|
|Goals per First Half %||32||47.1|
|Goals per Second Half %||68||52.9|
This match definitely could come down to clinical finishing and discipline looking at those stats.
Watford average more shots but Newcastle gets nearly a whole shot more on target than the Hornets, who however are more clinical in end, particularly in second half. .
Their discipline however is an issue, averaging two yellow and red cards per home game which is alarming compared to other teams.
That could very well prove to be the defining difference here, if Newcastle decide to play on the counter and frustrate Watford into losing their cool.
Watford have lost just one home game under Javi Garcia so will fancy a win here against a Newcastle side with nothing to play for.
With Newcastle’s transfer plans unclear, their players are playing for their futures now as Rafa Benitez prepares his squad for next season.
Although I am not expecting much, I can see a home win.
Prediction: Watford 1-0 Newcastle United
Jake predicts: Watford 1-1 Newcastle United
Result: Watford 2-1 Newcastle United