Newcastle v Watford Team News
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has confirmed Matt Ritchie will be sidelined for around two months ahead of their clash with Watford.
The Magpies return to home soil in the Premier League after claiming a shock 1-0 win at top-four hopefuls Tottenham last Sunday.
That victory got Newcastle off the mark following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Norwich over the opening two weekends.
They were unable to build momentum as they exited the Carabao Cup in midweek, having lost to Leicester on penalties, but Bruce may regard that as a blessing in disguise as they look to focus on Premier League survival.
Newcastle have a growing injury list to contend with and club-record signing Joelinton, who scored the winner against Spurs, will need to come through a late fitness test.
Bruce says the former Hoffenheim man should “be okay” but it is bad news for left-sided utility man Ritchie.
He has been ruled out of action for at least two months with ankle ligament damage after being forced off in Wednesday’s loss to Leicester.
SB on Matt Ritchie injury: "It's not great news. We think he's going to be (out for) two months. There is ankle ligament damage. Thankfully it's not six months, but it's bad enough." #NUFC #NewWat pic.twitter.com/MeE41QraXC
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 30, 2019
Allan Saint-Maximin limped out of the win over Tottenham and is set to miss up to five weeks, while Miguel Almiron, Emile Krafth and Jetro Willems are all doubts.
The pressure is growing on Watford boss Javi Gracia with just three games played as they head to the north east without a single point and rooted to the bottom of the table.
Watford did pick up their first win of the season on Tuesday, beating League One side Coventry 3-0 in the second round of the Carabao Cup, but they need to back that up in the league.
Gracia rotated for the League Cup tie and the performance has left him with a selection headache for their trip to St James’ Park.
Troy Deeney faces up to two months out after undergoing surgery on his knee last week and is the only member of the squad unavailable.
Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr made their first starts for the club in midweek and will be hoping to play some part against the Magpies.
The Hornets were unbeaten in their two meetings with Newcastle last season, winning 2-0 away from home, and Gracia will be hoping for a repeat performance.
They have only lost once to the Magpies across all competitions since 2010.