Watford v Newcastle United – Match Preview!

Posted on February 26th, 2010 | 37 Comments |

Vicarage Road will be buzzing...
Vicarage Road will be buzzing...
Newcastle United go looking for their first away win since December on Saturday as they take on Watford at Vicarage Road. It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for us over the years, our last win was way back in the 90/91 season, but I’m sure The Toon will be going all out to secure a vital 3 points and to put this away ‘hoodoo’ behind us.

This won’t be an easy game though, as Watford have been impressive at home, losing just once in their last 6 games, scoring 11 goals and conceding just 2 in the process, and it seems that some of their players are fired up by the chance of getting one over the current league leaders. Boyhood Newcastle fan and current Watford striker Danny Graham explains:

“Newcastle is a massive game – it’s one that every team looks forward to in the Championship; they’re a very big team in this league.”

“We can’t wait for them to come down to Vicarage Road where we are very good and strong hopefully we can give them a difficult game and take all three points.”

I hate boyhood Newcastle fans playing against us, they remind me of Graham Fenton, although we do have our very own player who will return to his old stomping ground in the considerable shape of Mike Williamson, who will undoubtedly be looking to get one over his former team-mates.

Newcastle face a mild injury crisis for this trip, with Wayne Routledge, Peter Lovenkrands, Jose Enrique and Nicky Butt all losing their respective races to be fit, as well as long term casualties such as Joey Barton, Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor, who are all still out of action.

With that in mind, plus the fact we are away from home and will probably revert to the tried and tested 4-5-1, our starting line-up should look something like:

Newcastle United: Harper, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Van Aanholt, R Taylor, Guthrie, Smith, Nolan, Gutierrez, Carroll.

The right side of midfield is a big question mark though. If we do go to the 4-5-1 formation the I’d assume Kevin Nolan would be used as an advanced midfielder with Danny Guthrie and Alan Smith plugging the middle. Obviously if Guthrie is in the middle then we need someone on the right which either means Ryan Taylor or Fabrice Pancrate should get the nod. I’ve personally gone for Taylor as he has scored in the last 2 games.

On-loan Chelsea full back Patrick Van Aanholt will make his last appearance for Newcastle as his loan is scheduled to end after Saturday’s game, although it is understood that Chris Hughton is in talks with the Chelsea hierachy with a view to extending the loan period.

Watford have one of their key players missing for the match, Tom Cleverley recieved a straight red card in last Saturday’s game at Scunthorpe United so will miss out as he serves the first of his 3 game suspension. This is how they lined up for that game at Scunthorpe:

Watford: Loach, Mariappa, DeMerit, Doyley, Taylor, Lansbury, Cowie, Cleverley, Eustace, Graham, Helguson.

Heider Helguson will need to be watched as he can be a real danger along with Henri Lansbury whilst Jay DeMerit will need to be well marshalled on any set pieces. I’m not sure who will play instead of Tom Cleverley although I’d say Stephen McGinn will get the nod.

Refereeing the match will be Tony Bates form Staffordshire who last took charge of a Newcastle match in the 4-3 Carling Cup win against Huddersfield earlier in the season.

On reflection, a win here would be very handy indeed and would undoubtedly be the anniversary gift that Chris Hughton will be after as he celebrates two years working at the madhouse. I’m plumping for a conservative 1-1 scoreline however and another frustrating away day although I hope I’m proved wrong and we can get back to winning ways on the road.

Howay the lads!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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37 Responses

  1. Speaking of injuries, whats going on with Barton??? is it a case of no news is good news or what!!! Christ im sure we saw marcelinho get more playing time than barton at the minute!!

  2. Thats the team that i hope he starts with if he goes 451 but for some unexplained reason , i have a feeling he might just go 442 . If he does then
    simpson–Williamson –Colo—-Aanholt
    will be the team he picks .

  3. I’d be pleasantly surprised with 3 points here. Went to see us scrape past them in the FA Cup a couple of seasons ago, and they are a team that lives of adversarial situations and love to get stuck in. Expect more injuries and at least a yellow for Smudge!

    BUT let’s not underestimate our abilities to grab something from nothing (Hughton and Calderwood know how to play this kind of game), and I think an ugly game and a point is likely.

    Hate to be unoriginal, but I agree with Toonsy’s team and his 1-1 prediction. That’d be better than most have got down there recently!

  4. I also hope he does start Taylor on the right. Having Routledge come in above him in the pecking order does seem to have inspired his attacking side recently. I just hope he doesn’t fall prey to the “get ’em booked” techniques these guys are so good at.

    Is it just me, or when he gets done for a foul, does Taylor look like he’s saying “hubcaps? I ain’t seen no hubcaps, officer…”

  5. Where is everybody?? I have a Terms of Reference to edit, and if I can’t switch out to some pointless banter every few minutes I will go into a persistent vegitative state by section 2…

  6. Just the man – come on, Roy – what’s your take on tomorrow? Please feel free to throw in some of your more eloquent insults. I consider it an art form.

  7. I’d have to say I fancy us getting just a point which will do, though you never know they may take some of there recent home form away with them (fingers crossed. I don’t see Forest or West Brom getting much this weekend.
    Forest are away to Leicester who are playing well and West Brom I can see losing after playing ET against Reading on Wednesday and have a well organised Derby coming to visit.
    As long as we look after are side of business and let the others worry about us :)


  8. ha I feel your pain Whumpie, although no Terms of Reference to edit. One point I’d like to make is that if at any point last season, or the previous 5 for that matter, we had an injury list like routledge, enrique, lovenkrands, butt, taylor, ameobi and barton we would have crumbled and fallen apart by now. Contextually, our five best players (arguably) are out there and I think the fact that we still have the ability to put out a squad that doesn’t feature and desperate drafts from the youth team/reserves really shows the improved depth of our squad. Gotta take the positives wherever possible and for me this is definitely one.

  9. We definitely need to play 4-5-1 tomorrow if we want to get anything from the game. Think Smith’s battle with Helguson will spark a yellow card or two. Ranger to come on and win the match for us…

  10. Who gives a toss about Barton?? Not me we have played fn brilliantly without him, sell the scouse tosser. Sick of the sight of him…BYE BARTON!!! Anyway HOWAY THE LADS….BEST SHOULD GET A START ALONG SIDE CARROLL, should be a great partnership….BYE SHITA AMEOBI!!!!!

  11. assuming we get promotion, what sort of signings do you lads reckon we’ll need to secure prem football the following year?

    for me our strongest side at the moment would be:

    taylor s colo williamson enrique
    routledge barton smith jonas
    carrol lovenkrands

    subs: ranger, guthrie, nolan, taylor r, pancrate, best, kadar

    This is assuming that Barton finds both form and fitness, which is of course a big if. However I do still believe that were he played in a nolan like attacking position behind the strikers we’d start to see some real form from the lad. I hate to say it so early on but I am wholly underwhelmed with the signing of Leon Best. Personally I’d have rathered we didn’t sign another striker at all untill making it to the prem and kept playing ranger carroll shola and loven. I feel we’ll need a real quality prem striker to play alongside loven next season. For me that’s the only change I think we need for the starting 11 next season to secure survival, a class striker. Be interesting to see who we go in for after having a renewed status and wonder if any players will fancy jumping on the revival bandwaggon at the toon?
    I hate to say it early

  12. toonsy – are you taken this site over or what ? one crappy thread that nobody read & now your everywhere.

    -isn’t the match preview deb’s baby ? stabbed her in the back have we – you sly get.

  13. Good point – nice to have squad depth. But to be honest, with the players that are missing, I really think we should be happy with a point.

    (Hoping all this low-expectations stuff does the voodoo thing and we end up utterly spanking them)

    Roy – which story on Ed’s? There are the usual 254 on there this morning…

  14. devonmag i think we certainly need a creative midfielder to bolster the team on return to the premiership also a leftback for cover and competition with the bull and a CF . i would say though the team that you posted would keep us in the prem . Its more than a match for the teams in the bottom 10 of the current EPL . I would like to see S Taylor turned into RB , i think that position would be ideal for him , also i think Carroll will mature into a good premiership cf . Lets just hope his court apperances give him the kick up the backside he needs (if found guilty).The one thing i am wondering is which players will be sold on in the summer for me Butt & Ameobi would be the first 2 to go .

  15. The problem we face is that we have a lot of players who are just about good enough for prem, but precious view who are more than that. It’s a much more expensive thing to put that right than when you’ve got a few glaring gaps in your formation – it costs just as much for a decent player regardless of the quality of the person you’re replacing or moving down the pecking order.

    I think we could be surprised as to who steps up to prem level and who doesn’t. The ones I think can are S. Taylor, Colo, Enrique, Williams, Routledge, Guthrie, Smith (yes, really), Jonas, Nolan (but only for one more year), Carroll, Loverboy and – eventually – Ranger.

    Not sure about Shola; he’s surprised us before. Depends on whether he can stay fit for another run of starts. He’s always delivered the scoring stats when he’s had that – even at prem level.

    As for new players, in reality we can be fairly sure that the management will be looking to bring through talent rather than splurging 8 figures on known players. So let’s just hope the younguns keep going like they did last night, eh.

    Phil Airey for the prem in a year or so?

  16. Anyway, Roy C – the night in Newcastle was every bit as decorative and entertaining as hoped. But I am now officially old, so my mates and I were effectively spectators, or “leering old pervs” as I think some may put it. The eldest of us had too much and bloused early to go lose his curry in the hotel bog.

    I have travelled a lot and seen a lot, but I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen so much attractive, short-skirted, pissed-enough-they-may-just-consider-it shagability in one place in my life. Or, as Donut put it, “an awesome array of beautifully presented top-bollox on display”.

    Newcastle continues to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world in that department.


    I was referring to that fact that we havent seen him and he is still picking up £50-£60k a week wages

    Of course he’s sh*te and I want to see the back of him aswell…But he’s not exactly earning it is he???

  18. Jesus, not long woke up, put SSN on and it’s like football has exploded. Pompey into admin, Chester exoelled from the league.

  19. the heeds fight against relagation has just taken a turn for better with the news that chester have been hoyed oot…….cheers tooooooonnnnnnnnnsssssssssyyyyyyyyyyyy…

  20. komfort – Hope Gateshead stay up. Would be a shame to see them not be able to fulfil their goal of becoming full time and kicking on from there.

  21. Eyeball81 says:
    February 26, 2010 at 10:15 am
    Speaking of injuries, whats going on with Barton??? is it a case of no news is good news or what!!! Christ im sure we saw marcelinho get more playing time than barton at the minute!!…..

    ….eyeball , barton is ready to play but because everthing is going along nicely – top of the league & points clear ect….CH is reluctant to add him to the first team sqaud incase he disrupts it with his volatile nature….cant blame him for that can we..

  22. I’d actually like Getshead to be promoted aswell but I guess that is a bit of a tall order this season :D

    Having another club in the football league would be great for the area.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

    BEST SHOULD GET A START ALONG SIDE CARROLL, should be a great partnership….BYE SHITA AMEOBI!!!!!….

    ….best cost nearly £2 mil & £18k/week in wages – & from what i’ve seen of him were being robbed blind..

  24. No way did Best cost 2mil! He had 6 months left on his contract. And i highly doubt he is on 18k. I’d say 10k max and if we get promoted maybe up to 15k. Give the guy a chance he did win us a point at Swansea so i think there is more to come from him. Would still prefer if Ranger got his starting position though.

  25. If Best did cost £2 mill then we were robbed blind. I heard it was around £800,000 we paid for him though.

  26. Well best did score ten goals for Coventry before he joined us this season . Maybe it’s just a case of once he gets his first for us then a load more will follow , with lovenkrands injured maybe a start at watford could be his chance to prove he can score .

  27. RunLikeTheRoutledge says:
    February 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm
    No way did Best cost 2mil! He had 6 months left on his contract. And i highly doubt he is on 18k. I’d say 10k max and if we get promoted maybe up to 15k. Give the guy a chance he did win us a point at Swansea so i think there is more to come from him. Would still prefer if Ranger got his starting position though……

    ….telephone conversation between ray ranson & myself

    ring ring ring..

    ray..hi komf how ya doing ?

    me..top of the bill ray..how’s you ?




    me..ray what did we pay for best ?

    ray..newcastle paid just short of £2 million & we had two other bids on the table that matched our valuation and they were both championship teams but he wanted to play infront of those brilliant geordie fans.

    me..how much will his wages be then ray ?

    ray..well komf i’m not 100% sure but he was our top earner on £18k/week so he’ll be on the same if not a bit more up there.




    me..cheers ray keep in touch mate.

    ray..i’ll give you a shout next time i’m up there – take care.