Watford's quest for Premier League survival continues against Newcastle United when the Magpies travel to Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Nigel Pearson's side claimed a valuable three points at home to Norwich City in midweek but are still very much embroiled in the relegation battle with just four games of the Premier League season to play.
Newcastle's resurgent return to football - despite the recent humbling defeat to Manchester City - has quashed any lingering fears of the drop as Steve Bruce takes his team to Hertfordshire sitting comfortably 13th in the table.
Where to Watch
When Is Kick Off? Saturday 11 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 12:30 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Vicarage Road
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime Video/Twitch
Referee? Craig Pawson
Aside from the long-term absentees Daryl Janmaat and Gerard Deulofeu, Pearson has a full squad to choose from.
Newcastle's midfield duo of Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff both missed out on the trip to Manchester City on Wednesday evening with hamstring injuries that are likely to also sideline them this weekend.
Allan Saint-Maximin - a player targeted by fellow Premier League side Arsenal - was rested in midweek after picking up a knock against West Ham United. Club captain Jamaal Lascelles also missed the rout at the hands of the dethroned champions while top scorer Miguel Almiron was only fit enough for the bench. Although all three could return on the weekend.
Watford: Foster; Femenía, Kabasele, Dawson, Masina; Hughes, Capoue; Sarr, Doucouré, Welbeck; Deeney.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Krafth, Fernández, Lascelles, Rose; Shelvey, Bentaleb; Saint-Maximin, Almirón, Ritchie; Gayle.
Watford's victory against rock-bottom Norwich was their first since the stunning 3-0 win that ended Liverpool's unbeaten league run at the end of February. The similarly wretched form of the division's other strugglers has been the only thing keeping the Hornets on the right side of the relegation zone of late.
Newcastle's free-scoring restart to the post-pandemic Premier League was somewhat punctured by the 5-0 mauling Manchester City dished out in midweek. Yet, even including that defeat, the Magpies have gone from scoring less than a goal per game to an average of two each match since the top flight's return.
Undoubtedly, a shift from a five-man defence to back-four in recent weeks has been key to this transformation and Watford should not expect the limp performance Manchester City were gifted.
Here's how both sides have fared in their last five outings.
Watford 2-1 Norwich City (7/7)
Chelsea 3-0 Watford (4/7)
Watford 1-3 Southampton (28/6)
Burnley 1-0 Watford (25/6)
Watford 1-1 Leicester City (20/6)
Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle (8/7)
Newcastle 2-2 West Ham United (5/7)
Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle (1/7)
Newcastle 0-2 Manchester City (28/6)
Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa (24/6)
In the wake of Wednesday evening's mauling, Bruce was emphatic in his declaration that Newcastle would not approach the league's final four matches with their 'flip-flops on'. Watford would very much like to encounter a beach-ready side but the Hornets are running out of opportunities to claw their way to safety.
As Watford's final two matches see them face Manchester City and Arsenal, the importance of this clash - and next week's meeting with West Ham - is only heightened for the 17th-placed side.
However, if the free-flowing Newcastle, armed with a fit Saint-Maximin, show up on Saturday, regardless of their footwear, the outcome of the match may be out of Watford's control.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 Newcastle
Source : 90min