Predicted Newcastle line-up to face Watford in the FA Cup
Newcastle have won their last two games in all competitions despite having a pretty treacherous season so far. Their recent home win against Cardiff displayed just how much potential this Magpies side really possesses.
This FA Cup 4th round tie is very important for Newcastle as a good progression in the cup could be the only saving grace for Rafa Benitez because his side could be headed towards the dreaded late-season relegation scrap.
The slight knocks picked up by Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark against Blackburn have been written off as they both featured against Cardiff and will be hoping to make a start again. Mo Diame is back in training and could feature but not from the start.
Kenedy, Jonjo Shelvey, Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett are still out with long-term injuries while Ki Sung-Yueng has returned from the AFC Asian Cup after picking up a knock.
Probable Newcastle XI
Manager: Rafael Benitez
GK – Martin Dubravka
The Slovakian goalkeeper has been fantastic for Newcastle at times this season. He is an important part of the team and will start this crucial game.
RWB – DeAndre Yedlin
This American full-back has been pretty dependable from an attacking sense and his bombarding runs are sure to cause the Watford defenders some problems.
RCB – Fabian Schar
Scored 2 goals on the weekend against Cardiff and has looked like a man reborn in recent weeks. It would be surprising if he didn’t start.
CB – Jamaal Lascelles
Easily the Magpies’ best defender, he had an injury scare a couple of weeks ago but looks fit and ready to take up responsibility again.
LCB – Ciaran Clark
Another player who picked up a slight knock in recent weeks, he sat out the Watford game, which means he could start against Watford.
LWB – Matt Ritchie
With Dummett out injured, Newcastle have no recognised left-backs available for selection, which means that Ritchie will fill in once again.
RM – Ayoze Perez
A possible game-changer, Perez is a dynamic attacker who is quite capable of producing magic on his day despite being alarmingly inconsistent.
RCM – Isaac Hayden
He has been in good form over the last few weeks. With Ki’s injury added to Rafa’s list, expect Hayden to start.
LCM – Sean Longstaff
With Mo Diame just returning to training, expect Longstaff to keep his place.
RM – Christian Atsu
Another player in decent form, Atsu has been crucial to Magpies, build-up play. He adds a degree of excitement to this side and will start.
ST – Salomon Rondon
It seems like Newcastle have only one striker capable of scoring goals and in a knockout tie, you need goals.