Gayle And Joselu Up Front, Murphy On The Left – Strongest 4-4-2 Newcastle Line-up To Face Watford

Predicted Newcastle United Line-up To Face Watford In The Premier League

Although sadly predictable, Newcastle’s defeat at Manchester United was a reminder to them that they are not safe in this division yet, despite a pretty good start. They will look to get back on track at home to Watford at the weekend.

Rafa Benitez’s main strength is his consistency and despite Watford’s over performance this season, the game represents a good chance for Newcastle to grab three points.

Paul Dummett is a long-term absentee while there is no news yet on Mikel Merino’s back injury. Massadio Haidara, Henri Saivet and Jack Colback all played in the under-23’s victory over Reading on Monday night and they may be in contention soon. Christian Atsu remains out with a groin injury.

Jamaal Lascelles is likely to miss out once again due to his ankle injury but some familiar faces should be in action at SJP:

Formation: 4-4-2

Manager: Rafael Benitez

GK – Rob Elliot

The Republic of Ireland international is likely to once again start between the sticks for the Toon, maintaining his solid and consistent form.

RB – DeAndre Yedlin

The attacking right-back can actually be a vital part of this set-up, adding a crucial overlap option when Ritchie creeps inside.

Florian Lejeune

CB – Florian Lejeune

The Frenchman has found his feet in this league after an early injury setback and is a thoroughly adequate replacement for skipper Lascelles.

CB – Ciaran Clark

Back in the side and bringing some good balance to the backline, he’s complementing Lejeune very well as he did with Lascelles in the Championship.

LB – Javier Manquillo

Naturally, Newcastle would prefer Dummett or even Haidara to be in this position, though Manquillo can do a reasonable job in this position.

RW – Matt Ritchie

Comfortable on this side and brings terrific final ball quality to the side; a big performance is needed here as he has shown he can be the match winner in these situations.

Matt Ritchie

CM – Jonjo Shelvey

Newcastle will hope he is on his game, as many around the country have suggested he should be part of the England squad. Such is his quality on the ball.

CM – Isaac Hayden

Although Merino is a miss, Hayden is one who has naturally improved from Championship to Premier League football and is more than capable of holding his own in this contest.

LW – Jacob Murphy

Much like his twin Josh who may also end up here at some point, Jacob just needs a final ball or a finish. He seems to be getting there steadily.

Joselu

ST – Joselu

Rafa insists on playing the Spaniard who has looked lightweight in the finish so far, though he obviously has some quality and may be better now, as he has a partner.

ST – Dwight Gayle

A fine finisher, he may well have had injury problems when Rafa seemed to ignore him for most of the season so far. But his goal at Man United probably guarantees him a spot here.

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Written by Gary Christie

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