The embarrassment of Newcastle United’s FA Cup exit to League One Cambridge United is still lingering in the north east as the Magpies host Watford in a Premier League relegation six-pointer.
Victory for Newcastle over the Hornets could lift Eddie Howe’s side out of the relegation zone depending on results elsewhere, although they have managed just one win all season.
Forward Chris Wood has arrived for £20m from relegation rivals Burnley this week to add to the capture of Atletico Madrid and England international Kieran Trippier.
The New Zealand international could be handed his debut this weekend, and here’s how Newcastle could line up.
Martin Dubravka (GK) – Hardly covered himself in glory for Cambridge’s winner last weekend.
Kieran Trippier (RB) – Endured a miserable start to life in the north east with a shock FA Cup defeat on his debut.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – Omitted from the squad for last weekend’s defeat with this fixture in mind.
Fabian Schar (CB) – The Swiss will hope he is central to Newcastle’s push for survival.
Matt Ritchie (LB) – Boasts supreme delivery from the wide areas and has worked under Howe before.
Jonjo Shelvey (CM) – His precision in midfield will be vital for Newcastle this weekend.
Sean Longstaff (CM) – Has caught the eye of Howe and his coaching staff with his energy in midfield.
Joelinton (CM) – The Brazilian has flourished in a deeper role in recent weeks.
Ryan Fraser (RW) – Enjoyed the best season of his career under Howe at Bournemouth.
Chris Wood (ST) – The former Burnley forward could make his St. James’ Park bow and will be under pressure to deliver.
Allan Saint-Maximin (LW) – Could have bagged a couple of goals in last weekend’s FA Cup exit.