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Newcastle vs Watford Odds: New signing Chris Wood tipped up on Toon Army debut

Chris Wood is expected to slot straight in after swapping Burnley for Newcastle
Chris Wood is expected to slot straight in after swapping Burnley for Newcastle

A six-pointer is an understatement as two relegation-threatened clubs enduring difficult seasons go head-to-head at St James’ Park in a pivotal clash. Newcastle have registered a solitary one win this season and head into the game on the back of a shock FA Cup defeat to League One Cambridge, while visiting Watford have lost their last seven in a row in all competitions ahead of Saturday’s seismic showdown in the North East.

Where to start? Two teams in torrid form do battle in a simply huge Premier League game. It’s a must win for both clubs.

September’s encounter, a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road, pitted Xisco Munoz against Steve Bruce. Fast-forward to mid-January and it’s all change in the dugout as Eddie Howe’s Toon Army lock horns with Claudio Ranieri’s Hornets. 

Ranieri, appointed in October, is already feeling the heat in the Sack Race (17/10) ahead of a trio of games against the Toon, Burnley, and Norwich. With his employers known for their trigger-happy nature, who knows, a defeat on Saturday could see them make yet another managerial change.

Newcastle (19th), demoralised by their league falterings and last week’s FA Cup humiliation, will look to draw inspiration from poaching striker Chris Wood from fellow strugglers Burnley; strengthening their own hand while weakening that of a relegation rival could prove to be a very shrewd move from Howe and co.

Watford, two points ahead in 17th, have been woeful of late. Superb in a 4-1 win over Man Utd which resulted in the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, the feeble Hornets have since lost their gusto, losing six successive league games in a row plus a 4-1 pummelling at the hands of Leicester in the FA Cup.

Newcastle are the 11/10 favourites to win this one, Watford are priced at 13/5, although given each side’s fear of winning, it’s the draw that stands out at 13/5.

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Newcastle vs Watford Odds

Today's Football Tips
Chris Wood to have 1+ headed shots on target
2/1
Odds correct as of 2022-01-14 12:50 Odds subject to change.

With top-goalscorer Callum Wilson out, Chris Wood is expected to slot straight into Newcastle’s starting-11.

He’s not exactly set the league alight this season, scoring three goals, but he’ll be determined to make an instant impact on his debut in-front of a passionate St James’ crowd yearning for goals and a prized three points; a win would see them leapfrog their opponents out of the drop zone into 17th.

"I have played at St. James' Park a few times and it's an amazing place, so to have the chance to represent this club with those incredible supporters behind me and my team-mates is very special,” the New Zealander said after putting pen to paper this week.

Wood has averaged 1.76 shots per game this season, and 0.71 on target. Known for his aerial prowess - with 17 of his 50 Premier League goals via his head - 12 of his 30 shots so far this term have been headers. He stands-out at 2/1 (Paddy Power) to have a headed shot on target on his debut against a wobbly Watford backline that haven’t kept a Premier League clean sheet in their last 28 games dating back to February 2020.

Furthermore, Watford have conceded a whopping 100 shots in on their own goal this season, that's a league-high average of 5.56 per game.

Burnley’s all-time Premier League goalscorer can be backed at 6/1 to find the back of the net with a headed goal. He’s 2/1 fire in two shots on target, 5/1 to open the scoring on Saturday and 6/4 to net anytime.

Newcastle vs Watford Odds
Joelinton to be carded
11/4
Odds correct as of 2022-01-14 12:55 Odds subject to change.

Despite a significant improvement in his performances of late, it doesn’t make for great reading when you have more yellow cards than goals. 

Heading into Saturday’s game Joelinton has four yellow cards this season, compared to just the one goal. Each of those cards have been brandished since October, two of which have been in his last three Premier League games.

Previously a striker, the Brazilian is now playing in a more defensive position in midfield, which is perhaps one notable reason for his increased card count. He’s made a total of 27 fouls so far this season, a significantly high number - 11th in the whole league - considering he’s featured in just 13 games. On top of that he’s averaged 2.1 per game on home soil.

In what promises to be a nerve-shredding fixture full of tension and spice, Joelinton is our pick at 11/4 to get his name inked in the ref’s little black book.

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