Watford host Newcastle United at Vicarage Road in the Premier League today as they go in search of their first set of back-to-back wins in the division this season.
The Hornets beat Norwich 3-1 at Carrow Road last weekend, their second win of the campaign, and could head into this match full of confidence.
Xisco Munoz’s team did lose 3-1 to Stoke in the Carabao Cup in midweek, although it was a much-changed Watford side with a number of first-team stalwarts rested.
How many changes will Xisco make to the line-up for this match? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make eight changes to the team from midweek, with Ben Foster, Will Troost-Ekong, Danny Rose, Juraj Kucka, Moussa Sissoko, Tom Cleverley, Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis all coming into the side.
Starting between the sticks, Foster should return as the number one. He had a solid game against Norwich and Rob Elliott did not do enough against Stoke to show that he deserves to be starting in the Premier League, whilst Dan Bachmann is struggling with a knee injury.
In defence, Troost-Ekong and Rose could return to join up with Jeremy Ngakia and Christian Kabasele. Kiko Femenia is a slight injury concern and we have gone with Ngakia to take his place if the Spaniard is not 100% ready to start the game.
We are also predicting that the entire midfield three will change. Imran Louza, Ozan Tufan and Dan Gosling started against Stoke and the 3-1 scoreline sums it up – they did not do their job well enough to control the game. Sissoko, Kucka and Cleverley started in the win over Norwich and could all come straight back in to make up the midfield.
Finally, we believe that Ashley Fletcher could make his Premier League bow for the club, with Sarr and Dennis returning to the team either side of him. Fletcher scored in the defeat to Stoke, his second goal in as many cup games for Watford this season, and he could get the nod over Josh King, who has zero goals in four league matches for the Hornets.
Dennis and Sarr both scored against Norwich and deserve to come back in after being rested against the Potters. They have shown that they can score goals in the Premier League, which is why they should be in the starting XI today. This is why Ken Sema must be axed from the line-up alongside Cucho Hernandez, with neither of them showing enough against Stoke to warrant a starting berth against Newcastle.