by Ian S. Palmer
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There’s yet another all-Premier League showdown in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend when newly-promoted Watford hosts Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on Saturday, January 9. Watford was downed 2-1 by Manchester City a week ago in their last outing on a pair of late goals while Newcastle came out on the wrong end of a 1-0 decision to league-leading Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. Newcastle still sits in the relegation zone while Watford are gunning for a spot in the Europa League next season.
Watford vs Newcastle United – bet365 Soccer BETTING LINE:
- bet365 currently lists Watford as the favorites at 4/5 with Newcastle 10/3 and a draw at 11/4
Watford vs Newcastle United – Head to Head:
- Watford were 2-1 winners in Newcastle in Premier League play in September. Prior to that game, the last meeting took place in February of 2010 when Newcastle were 2-1 away winners in the second-tier Championship League. They also won 2-0 at home during that campaign. Watford has just one win in their last eight meetings and two in the past 20. The teams have played six FA Cup games against each other with Newcastle winning two, Watford winning one and the other three ending in draws. They had to go to three replays in 1989 before Watford advanced with a 1-0 victory following three straight draws. Overall, the clubs have met 38 times in all competitions with Newcastle winning 15, losing 10 and drawing the other 13.
Watford enters this cup clash in ninth place in the Premier League with 29 points from eight wins, five draws and seven losses. They’ve scored 25 goals and allowed 22 against. Newcastle occupies 18th place in the standings with 17 points from four victories, five draws and 11 defeats with 19 goals for and 35 against. The two sides met earlier in the Premier League season with Watford leaving St James’ Park with all three points following a 2-1 triumph back in September. Watford has two wins, a draw and two losses in their past five outings while Newcastle a victory, a draw and three defeats.
Watford striker Odion Ighalo has been one of the best surprises in English soccer this season and has goals in six of his last seven games. The native of Nigeria should be a key factor in this match and Newcastle will need to mark him closely. Newcastle faces a tough task here since they have just a pair of wins in their past 17 road games and they’ve lost seven of the last 10 away from St James’ Park. If there is a bright spot for manager Steve McLaren though, it’s the fact that Watford has dropped five of their past eight home fixtures at Vicarage Road.
Newcastle has been knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round for three straight years and will be hoping for at least a draw on Saturday to ensure themselves of a replay at home. They’ll be facing a Watford side that will be missing defender Nathan Ake because of suspension. The home team is also expected to be without the services of Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban who are both out with injuries. Newcastle also has injury problems and will be without Vurnon Anita, Steven Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Mike Williamson and number one goaltender Tim Krul. In addition, it looks like Rolando Aarons, Papiss Cisse and Massadio Haidara will miss the match.