Eddie Howe makes surprise Newcastle United team call and recalls forgotten man

Chris Wood will make his full Newcastle United debut against Watford this afternoon.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 2:47 pm

The striker, signed from Burnley for £25million this week, starts against Watford at St James’s Park with Callum Wilson sidelined with calf tear.

Head coach Eddie Howe has also handed fit-again defender Paul Dummett his first start of the season. Dummett, sidelined since pre-season, recently returned to training after recovering from a calf injury.

Goalkeeper Martin Dubrkavka lines up in goal after recovering from a toe injury.

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The game follows last weekend’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat to League One Cambridge United.

Howe said: “We’re going in to win the game. Everybody connected with the club was disappointed with last week. We’ve discussed what went wrong. We’re going to try to put it right. We’re very focused to achieve our best performance.”

Newcastle United are 19th in the Premier League with one win from 19 games, and a win would take them out of the relegation zone – and above 17th-placed Watford.

Meanwhile, visiting manager Claudio Ranieri has made six changes to his starting XI.

Chris Wood arrives at St James's Park.

Ranieri said: “Yes, this is a big game, big match for us, for them,” said Ranieri. “I can’t say it’s the biggest, all the matches are very, very important.”

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Dummett, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Joelinton, Fraser, Saint-Maximin, Wood. Subs: Darlow, Gillespie, Ritchie, Lewis, Krafth, Murphy, Almiron, Willock, Anderson.

WATFORD: Foster, Ngakia, King, Pedro, Kamara, Cathcart, Sissoko, Samir, Dennis, Kucka, Kayembe. Subs: Backhmann, Cleverley, Sema, Tufan, Femenia, Kabasele, Hernandez, Sierralta, Morris.

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