Newcastle United are gearing up for a monumental Premier League relegation battle clash this weekend, when they take on Watford at St James’ Park.
The Magpies head into the game off the back of a harrowing 1-0 FA Cup third round exit to Cambridge United, and will be expected to produce a suitable response when they take on the Hornets.
As things stand, just two points separate the sides in a tightly-packed lower end of the table, and the game is shaping up to be a real ‘six-pointer’ in the battle for survival.
The last time the two sides faced each other, back in September, the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road, with Ismaila Sarr levelling up for the hosts after Sean Longstaff’s first half goal.
Speaking ahead of the eagerly anticipated game, Magpies legend Alan Shearer discussed the relegation struggle with Optus Sport, and said: “Norwich, Watford and I always say Burnley will have enough but I’ve watched Burnley a few times in December and been really surprised by how poor they’ve been defensively.
“I know they don’t concede as many as the other teams in the relegation battle do but going forward they haven’t scored as much either.
“They’ve got [Maxwel] Cornet who can produce spectacular goals so I’m going to say Burnley (to go down) and let’s hope that Newcastle can get out of it.”
Take a look at today’s biggest stories from the Premier League, as the top tier sides continue to gear up for the weekend action:
1. Palace in for Nketiah
Crystal Palace look to be closing in on a move for Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, after holding talks with the Gunners. The ex-England U21 goal machine, who is also wanted by Brighton, looks highly likely to depart Arsenal in this transfer window. (Evening Standard) (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
2. Arsenal gunning for Vlahovic
Arsenal could take a fresh approach in their bid to land Fiorentina goal machine Dusan Vlahovic, after their attempts to secure a whopping £70m failed to seal the deal. They could instead look to tempt the Serie A side with a player plus cash offer involving Lucas Torreira. (Mirror) (Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images)
3. Ramsey seals exit
Promising Aston Villa talent Aaron Ramsey has joined Bristol City on loan until the end of the season. The England U21 international’s move follows the arrival of Phillipe Coutinho, who has joined the Villains on loan from Barcelona. (Club website) (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
4. Ekitike race is on
West Ham, Brentford, and Brighton have tabled rival bids for young Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, but Newcastle United remain favourites to land him. (90min & Le10Sport) (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty Images)