The 2-0 victory over West Ham United in the previous round of the Premier League pushed Watford to within four points of a place in the Europe next season and they have a decent chance of reducing it further when they travel to the St James’ Park this weekend. The Magpies are fresh from a loss at Old Trafford in the last weekend and will hope to take something from this home game.
The Hornets, however, have been solid on all fronts and will fight for all three points. Here is the predicted lineup Marco Silva might field for this tie:
The manager has no fresh injuries to worry about ahead of this game. Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah, Younes Kaboul and Isacc Success remain unavailable along with Troy Deeney, who is serving a suspension.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
Though not at his best, Heurelho Gomes remains Silva’s first choice this season and will retain his place under the bar. Miguel Britos has been solid at the back for his side and should start at the heart of the backline for Watford.
Christian Kabasele has also been a regular at the back for Silva and should start this game on the left side of the back-3 while Adrian Mariappa, who has also been effective, will start on the right side of Britos.
Kiko Femenia picked up a niggle in the game against West Ham but is passed fit to play in this game. He should start on the right side of the midfield, as a wing-back. Marvin Zeegelar was productive in the only game he got this season and might be preferred over Jose Holebas on the left-flank.
Tom Cleverly has been the lynchpin for this Watford side and he should start in the middle of the park alongside Abdoulaye Doucoure, who has been consistent this season. He is expected to play a defensive role, giving Cleverly the freedom to roam.
Brazilian star Richarlison has been on fire in front of goal this season and will be the danger man for the hosts in this game. He will be accompanied by Will Hughes on the other flank, who was sensational in the game against the Hammers.
With Troy Deeney out injured, Andre Gray is expected to lead the line and he will hope to add to his goal tally, against a Newcastle side that has been inconsistent this season.
Here is how they might line up: