An all Premier League FA Cup clash takes place on Saturday as Newcastle United play against Watford at St James Park.
Despite the potential romance of a up run, Rafa Benitez’s Magpies side will be prioritising their Premier League survival at this stage and are not likely to field their best team for this game.
Newcastle can however draw motivation that they were unbeaten in both of their league meetings with their Javi Gracia’s side this season, winning once and drawing the other game.
Furthermore the St James’ side play a top-flight fixture against the mighty Manchester City next Tuesday.
As such, Newcastle will need to manage their key players carefully ahead of the game against Pep Guardiola’s side and it is likely that a number of stars will be rested against the Hornets.
The Magpies also do not have a good record in cup tournaments since Mike Ashley bought the club in 2007. They have never progressed beyond the fourth round of the competition since the year before the 54-year-old took over, as reported by Sky Sports.
For the clash against Watford, Newcastle will be without Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett and Mohamed Diame, as reported by the club’s official website.
Ki Sung-yueng also faces up to two weeks on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury while playing for South Korea in the Asian Cup, as reported by Sky Sports.
In better news for the Magpies, the likes of defender Federico Fernandez and Kenedy could be set to return to action. The Newcastle duo had to miss the club’s last Premier League game against Cardiff City due to illness.