Newcastle V Watford at St James' Park : Match Preview

24 November 2017
Midfielder Mikel Merino returns for Newcastle ahead of Watford clash

Midfielder Mikel Merino will return to the Newcastle squad for Saturday's Premier League clash with Watford.

The Spaniard has missed the last three games with a back injury, and his availability provides manager Rafael Benitez with a timely boost as Isaac Hayden serves a one-match ban after collecting his fifth booking of the season at Manchester United last weekend.

Full-back Paul Dummett is closing in on a return from his long-standing hamstring injury, although the game will come too soon for him, while central defender Jamaal Lascelles (foot) and winger Christian Atsu (groin) are still out.

Watford boss Marco Silva has no fresh selection problems but remains without five players.

Hornets captain Troy Deeney serves the final game of a three-match suspension, while defenders Craig Cathcart (knee) and Younes Kaboul (hamstring), midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah (knee) and forward Isaac Success (knee) are still injured.

Spanish full-back Kiko Femenia is available to play after being forced off with cramp against West Ham on Sunday.