It has not been plain sailing for Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle as of late, they have lost their last three Premier League matches. This subsequently sees them sit 12th in the Premier League table, they are not quite looking over their shoulder but an end to that run would be very welcome this afternoon.
Later today they play host to Marco Silva’s Watford who themselves have just experienced three straight defeats, thankfully for them though they put a stop to that with a 2-0 win over a West Ham side which were led by David Moyes for the first time.
Last weekend saw Newcastle travel to Old Trafford and they came away soundly beaten. It was Rafa Benitez’s heaviest defeat of the season after Jose Mourinho’s men eventually earned all three points with relative ease after a 4-1 win.
I say relative ease because it could have been a much different story as Dwight Gayle opened the scoring in the first half to cause something of a stir, if anything though all it did was just wake up the home side who thanks to a returning Paul Pogba moved through the gears and made sure Newcastle were well and truly out of the game.
An early evening to forget for Newcastle but in fairness it was an outcome that was not unexpected either, you could make a case that they did not deserve to lose by the margin that they did but at the same time the defeat came as no real surprise either.
That however is something they will look to put right this afternoon when they welcome Watford to St James’ Park. The Magpies have scored 11 goals from their first 12 matches but only two players have managed to score more than once this season.
No less than nine players have got on the scoresheet for Newcastle this season but only Joselu and Jammal Lascelles have scored twice, they need a player who can score with regularity especially if they are to keep the comfortable buffer between them and the bottom three.
Visitors Watford come into this game off a back of a 2-0 win over West Ham, three points at Vicarage Road last Sunday but they perhaps did not have it all their own way. The fact that Huerelho Gomes won Man Of The Match tells the story.
The Brazilian goalkeeper who can either do the sublime or the ridiculous certainly did the former at the end of last week with a string of saves especially in the first half which kept the Hammers at bay. On multiple occasions it looked as if West Ham had scored only for the former Tottenham man to pull off another great save.
With the Hornets giving nothing away at one end they once again clicked at the other, Will Hughes scored his first ever Premier League goal with what turned out to be his first ever shot at this level while once again the Brazilian forward Richarlison was on the scoresheet.
The link between Gomes and Richarlison is an important one as the club captain has acted as mentor, translator and more importantly friend for his compatriot who has taken into the Premier League like a duck to water, it makes you wonder just how good his performances would be without the influence of his fellow Brazilian behind the scenes.
He has certainly flourished and Watford are undoubtedly reaping the rewards at present, they’ve bounced back from their run of defeats while victory came among the backdrop of whether or not manager Marco Silva will swap Hertfordshire for Merseyside.
The Watford owners have said he is ‘not for sale’ but a win today would undoubtedly see his stock rise further and to be honest I think it will as I can see this being successive wins for Watford but a fourth straight defeat for Newcastle as the pressure adds to Rafa Benitez. An away win for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome here
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 24, 2017