Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez will be without two players ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Watford – Florian Lejeune (ACL) & Jamie Sterry (knock). However, he could welcome back Ciaran Clark (thigh) and Ayoze Perez (knock) for the weekend clash.
Lejeune has been out of action all season with a knee injury while Sterry was unlikely to be in the matchday squad regardless. The latter has twice-featured in the squad for a Premier League fixture but hadn’t come off the bench.
If Clark isn’t passed fit in time, Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez should start at the heart of the backline. If Perez misses out against Watford, Salomon Rondon, Yoshinori Muto or Joselu could lead the line in his absence.
The Magpies desperately need a result as they’ve had a woeful start to the season. United currently sit 19th in the league with three points from 10 games, having failed to win a game so far. Newcastle have failed to score in four of their last five outings and could be on course for relegation.
Watford are no slouches. Javi Gracia’s men are 12 places and 16 points better off than Newcastle in the table and boast consecutive wins in the league. Newcastle have lost all five home games this season while Watford have won two and drawn one of their four away outings.