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Newcastle v Watford betting tips: Wood set for Magpies debut in relegation battle

| 12.01.2022

Newcastle v Watford betting tips and odds

There are some big games taking place in the Premier League this weekend, including Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash between Manchester City and Arsenal which is followed a day later by the north London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, there is also a crucial relegation battle on Saturday afternoon when Newcastle are almost certain to have new striker Chris Wood in their starting line-up and could move out of the bottom three with victory against Watford at St James’ Park which is priced at evens.

Both clubs have been busy during the January transfer window, so let’s take a look at the form, markets, odds and key battles to help with our Newcastle v Watford betting tips.

Newcastle v Watford form

Eddie Howe’s side go into the match two points adrift of the Hornets, so victory would ensure they escape the relegation zone as long as Burnley fail to beat Leicester.

The Clarets’ hopes of picking up three points have been severely dented by the departure of  Wood to St James’ Park after the Magpies activated his £25m release clause.

Newcastle, taken over by a Saudi-led consortium in October, swooped on their relegation rivals after Callum Wilson was ruled out for eight weeks with a calf injury.

Goals have been a problem for United this season with only Norwich, Wolves and Burnley having scored fewer than their 19 which equates to one a game on average.

The Tynesiders have won just once this season, a 1-0 victory over Burnley, and they were humiliatingly eliminated from the FA Cup by League One side Cambridge at the weekend when Kieran Trippier made his debut at right-back following a £12m move from Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

The hosts have had a tough run of fixtures lately but ended a run of three successive defeats against Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City with a well-deserved 1-1 draw against Manchester United, the game in which Wilson was injured.

Watford have lost six successive matches since they destroyed Manchester United 4-1 two months ago and have lost four players to the Africa Cup of Nations, including winger Ismaila Sarr.

Manager Claudio Ranieri has addressed a lengthy injury list by signing three players during the January transfer window, Brazilian central defender Samir from Udinese, left-back Hassane Kamara from Nice and dynamic midfielder Edo Kayembe from Belgian side KAS Eupen.

Samir could be crucial to the Hornets’ hopes of staying up as they have failed to register a single clean sheet this season, although Newcastle haven’t been much better with just one.

Watford’s defence has been breached 16 times in their last six games, three of which came against the traditional top six, and Ranieri made seven changes for Saturday’s 4-1 drubbing by Leicester in the FA Cup bearing in mind their next three games are all against relegation rivals.

Despite winning just once this season, United are evens to pick up three points, while a repeat of September’s draw is 5/2 and an away win is available at 13/5.

With just one clean sheet between them this season, both teams to score for a fifth successive time in meetings involving these clubs is 8/13, while goals at both ends, either team to win and over 2.5 goals in the match is 5/4.

The hosts to win and both teams to score can be backed at 13/5 as one of Saturday’s Newcastle v Watford betting tips, while a win for the visitors that way is 24/5.

Head to head

Three of the last four Premier League contests between these teams have ended in 1-1 draws which is 6/1, while a share of the spoils and goals at both ends is 13/5.

Interestingly, the away team has scored first in the last five matches in all competitions involving these sides and the deadlock was broken in the first half in all four Premier League encounters.

Watford to score first is 7/5 and doing so in the opening 45 minutes is 11/5.

Key Battles

Kamara is looking forward to helping Watford’s survival bid having been in Ligue 1’s team of the season in the 2019-20 campaign, but as a former winger he also likes to get forward so it will be interesting to see how he fares should he make his debut at left-back.

However, it is right-back Craig Cathcart who is expected to have his hands full as he tries to keep Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin at bay, while the centre-backs will have a job ensuring Wood has a quiet afternoon.

Newcastle could adopt a different approach with Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser and Trippier tasked with supplying crosses for Wood in a 4-5-1 formation.

Hornets winger Emmanuel Dennis could return despite an injury preventing him from playing for Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations which escalated into a massive club v country row.

Dennis will be crucial to the Hornets’ chances of getting a result in the north east, with Jacob Murphy potentially the man to stop Watford’s eight-goal top scorer.

Newcastle v Watford team news

Wood is expected to lead the line for Newcastle in the absence of Wilson and Dwight Gayle. However, Federico Fernandez, Issac Hayden and Jamal Lewis all remain out.

Kamara could make his debut for Watford despite failing to get off the bench at the weekend, but Samir and Kayembe may have to wait.

Josh King was left on the bench for Saturday’s game but is likely to be restored to the starting line-up along with Juraj Kucka.

Goalscorer Odds

Dennis is the 4/1 favourite to score the game’s opening goal followed by Saint-Maximin at 5/1 in our Newcastle v Watford betting tips.

Joelinton may play in a more advanced role on Saturday and is 15/2 to break the deadlock or 14/5 just to score, while Sean Longstaff is 16/1 to bag the opener as he did at Vicarage Road or 11/2 to find the net.

Trippier takes a mean free-kick and is 14/1 to score the opener or 5/1 in the anytime market, but Wood is yet to be priced up.

King is the next likeliest player to score for Watford at 21/10 (Dennis is 6/4) and Joao Pedro is available at 13/2 and 12/5 in the two markets.

Match Info

Where: St James’ Park

When: 15:00, Saturday 15th January

How to watch: N/A

View the latest Premier League odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner