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    Watford v Newcastle United: Match Preview

    By Alex Easley
    Nordin Amrabat could make his Watford debut on Saturday following his move from Malaga.
    Nordin Amrabat may be given his Watford debut when they host relegation-threatened Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.

    The Morocco international completed his £6.1m transfer from Malaga on Monday and if he does indeed start, the 28-year-old will boost a side that lost their fourth match in a row 1-0 at Swansea last time out.

    Quique Sanchez Flores’ team have not actually won since beating Liverpool at home in December and after scoring in 11 successive league games, the Hornets have not failed to register in their previous two.

    However, Watford will be boosted knowing they have already beaten Newcastle twice this season, once in the league at St. James’ Park and in the FA Cup third round at Vicarage Road earlier in the month.

    Flores said this week: "We are a little bit tired. December was very tough for us.

    "Not because we had to play every three days, but because we had to play against amazing teams - Chelsea, Tottenham and [Manchester] City - and it was very difficult for us.

    "When we don't win sometimes the tiredness is in the brain and the head is a little bit more heavy. I tell the players, 'Boys, no problem, we are in the same position as Everton, Liverpool and Southampton in the league and it is not a drama'."

    The Magpies, meanwhile, may head into this fixture in the bottom three, but they are unbeaten in their last three in all competitions.

    A win for Steve McClaren’s side on Saturday would leave them just five points behind their opponents, who are in 12th place in the league table.

    McClaren has said pre-match: "Kevin Mbabu is out, Dummett has a tight hamstring, Colback deputised at left-back - he has a little niggle which we will not take a risk on. We have four fit defenders.

    "Steven Taylor will be in the squad and probably on the bench. In terms of balance, it is very difficult, but we will find a solution somewhere and players will have to step in and do a job."
    Watford are looking to beat Newcastle for the third time this season following wins in the league and FA Cup.

    Winger Amrabat is in line to make his Watford bow, although Flores is still unable to call upon both Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban.

    The visitors could be without defender Paul Dummett, who has a hamstring problem, and if the Welshman misses out, he will join the likes of Papiss Cisse, Siem de Jong, Kevin Mbabu, Gabriel Obertan, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor and Vurnon Anita on the club's injury list.



    Watford have beaten Newcastle twice this season, having failed to win their previous seven games against the Magpies.

    The Hornets could complete a top-flight double against Newcastle for the first time.

    The only previous season in which Watford won both league games against Newcastle was in 1979-80, when the sides were in Division Two.


    Watford have lost their last four league games, and have taken one point from a possible 15 since Christmas.

    The last time they lost five successive top-flight matches was between September and October 1999.

    The Hornets have already lost five Premier League home games this term - only Aston Villa, with six, have a worse record.

    However, Watford have kept six clean sheets at home, a record bettered only by Manchester United, with seven.

    Watford have only won one of 11 Premier League matches in the month of January (D1, L9).

    Odion Ighalo has scored six goals in his last six league appearances at Vicarage Road.

    Newcastle United

    Newcastle have lost 1-0 in each of their last three away matches in all competitions.

    They have conceded a league-high seven goals from outside the penalty area in the Premier League this season.

    Georginio Wijnaldum has no goals and two assists in 10 Premier League away appearances this season, compared to nine goals and one assist in games at St James' Park.

    Ayoze Perez has scored in four of Newcastle's five Premier League wins in 2015-16.

    K.O. 3PM - 23/01/2016
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    Item Reviewed: Watford v Newcastle United: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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