Newcastle need three points against the Hornets on Saturday but the visitors will arrive looking anything but pushovers after victory against West Ham on Sunday lifted them to eighth in the Premier League.
And as the division’s highest scorers outside the top six, there are no lack of dangermen in a Watford side flourishing under Marco Silva’s guidance.
Here are the three greatest threats to United’s bid to avoid a fourth straight top-flight defeat.
The 20-year-old Brazilian U-20 international, signed in the summer from Fluminense, is Watford’s top scorer with five goals in 12 appearances.
And although the £11million man is tipped for a possible January move to one of Europe’s top clubs, his pace, strength and poise in front of goal – whether playing through the middle or
cutting in from the left flank – will worry Rafa Benitez.
The 24-year-old French midfielder has racked up a notable double this season – four goals and more than double the number of passes of any Newcastle player.
His partnership with one-time reputed Toon target Tom Cleverley has underpinned Watford’s recent progress, and he will fancy his chances of repeating his man of the match performance
against West Ham.
His form this season has been patchy at best, but the summer signing from Burnley needs to step up while fellow striker Troy Deeney is suspended.
Gray was on Newcastle’s radar this summer, and while the £18.5million that Watford paid for him currently looks very steep, his pace could cause an issue to a Newcastle back line still
bruised from last Saturday’s second-half battering at Old Trafford.