Newcastle United team news shock as Joe Willock starts against Watford

Joe Willock has been passed fit to face Watford this afternoon.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 2:19 pm
Joe Willock.

Steve Bruce yesterday ruled the midfielder out of winless Newcastle United’s visit to Vicarage Road with a toe injury suffered in training this week.

United’s head coach said: “Joe Willock picked up an injury in this week, unfortunately, and Jamaal Lascelles hurt his thigh. So they, unfortunately, go on to the injured list, which makes that about five or six of our first team. Joe’s was a complete fluke, unfortunately he kicked the ground, damaged his toe. He’ll not make this week, and probably touch and go (for) next week as well.”

However, Willock, signed from Arsenal in the summer, will face Watford after coming through the club’s final training session. The 22-year-old had asked to train after Bruce’s press conference.

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Defender Federico Fernandez comes into the team in place of injured captain Jamaal Lacelles, who suffered a thigh injury in last week’s 2-2 home draw against Leeds United.

Newcastle are 18th in the Premier League table with two points, and Watford manager Xisco Munoz said in the matchday programme: “We’ve got to be aware of the dangerous moments they can create for us, and we’ll give them big respect, because they have a strong squad.”

Meanwhile, former Newcastle players Moussa Sissoko and Danny Rose start for 11th-placed Watford, while Rob Elliot is on the bench.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, S Longstaff, Willock, Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin. Subs: Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Fraser, Murphy, Anderson, Gayle.

Jarred Gillett performs pre-match checks ahead of the Premier League match between Watford and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road.