It’s been a difficult start to the season for Steve Bruce and Newcastle, who have so far failed to seal victory in their opening five games, which has just left them uncomfortably perched in the bottom three, but the Magpies will be looking towards this fixture as a must-win against newly-promoted opposition in Watford.
There is an air of frustration on Tyneside that has carried over from the previous campaign and extends to years of dissatisfaction under polarising ownership, but events on the field have done little to sate the disgruntlement, with Newcastle already eliminated from the League Cup and hovering precariously in 18th.
Watford meanwhile are riding the crest of a wave following their promotion. An opening-day win over Aston Villa set the scene, but they went on to lose the proceeding three games, so last week’s victory over fellow new boys Norwich City has just rejuvenated the terraces and given them momentum heading into this tie.
Watford vs Newcastle: Match Stats
There are talismanic forces on both sides. For Watford, Ismaila Sarr is the star man, with the wily winger so far top scoring for the club (3 goals), as well as creating the most chances (9), registering the most shots (13) and completing the most take-ons (16). He is the attacking fulcrum in every sense.
For Newcastle, their forward-thinking catalyst is Allan Saint-Maximin, Bruce’s Get Out of Jail Free card, with the Frenchman regularly coming up with the goods when the chips are down for the Geordies. He has been directly involved in three goals in his last three Premier League games for Newcastle (2 goals, 1 assist).
11 Jul 2020 – Watford 2-1 Newcastle – Premier League
31 Aug 2019 – Newcastle 1-1 Watford – Premier League
26 Jan 2019 – Newcastle 0-2 Watford – FA Cup
29 Dec 2018 – Watford 1-1 Newcastle – Premier League
03 Nov 2018 – Newcastle 1-0 Watford – Premier League
Newcastle have won only one of their last nine away league games against Watford, and have never won a top-flight match at Vicarage Road before (five draws, five defeats). Their most recent loss came in Watford’s relegation season, with Nigel Pearson sealing a 2-1 victory to give the club some hope of survival, before they went on to lose their remaining three games to drop out of the division.