Wood to score in basement battle at St James Park

These two sides are battling it out right at the foot of the Premier League. With the hosts just at one win in their 19 Premier League games while their visitors sit just two points above Eddie Howe's men with a game in hand. A loss here for the Magpies could see them stare further into the relegation barrel, while Watford have a chance to five points clear of the bottom three.

January couldn't have come quickly enough for the Toon

The two additions of Kieran Trippier and most recently Chris Wood surely won't be the end of Newcastle's transfer business this month. However, on the pitch, Newcastle also have a lot of work still to do. A disastrous 1-0 home defeat to League One outfit Cambridge in the third round of the FA Cup certainly represents a low point for Newcastle in their short time under Eddie Howe. Crashing out of the cup in such dreary fashion leaves them with a sole focus on survival, and with the cash injection that the club will receive under their new, hideously wealthy ownership group, getting relegated would be a travesty for the Toon. A win here against a direct relegation rival would do their chances of survival a great deal of help. Their 42 goals conceded ranks them second bottom in the league, matching their league position. They definitely need to sure up the defense, with the addition of Kieran Trippier being a step in the right direction on this front. But at left back and centre back are where their issues now lie, and consistently being linked to the likes of Diego Carlos and Sven Botman in this window is an indication of Newcastle's ambition to improve immediately, but also thinking about the future. The addition of Chris Wood up front could see the Kiwi start against Watford on Saturday, especially with Callum Wilson being sidelined due to injury. They will likely start with Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin in behind Wood, while Ryan Fraser could also feature in the attacking department. It'll be a pressurised environment for this Newcastle side who faced a lot of deserved criticism after their shock cup exit. If they are to bounceback here, they will need to play much better than they did in the embarrassing defeat to Cambridge.

The Hornets lacking any sting

Claudio Ranieri's side are without a win since their sublime 4-1 win against Man United at home back in late November. But since then, there has been little sign of life from a group of players going through a tough set of fixtures recently. They've lost all seven of games since their win against United, and enter arguably the most crucial part of their season. The next three games for the Hornets are imperative in their survival chances, with matches against both Burnley and Norwich in their three games after this. This massive run of games for Ranieri's men could send them clear of these three sides in the table and really allow them to create some daylight between themselves and the other strugglers at the foot of the league. A 4-1 loss to Leicester in the FA Cup will have compounded much of their recent misery, but it's not exactly much of a shock and will allow Watford to focus on trying to survive in the Premier League. Adam Masina, William Troost-Ekong and Ismaila Sarr will all miss out due to their involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, while Ben Foster, Christian Kabasele and Emmanuel Dennis are all doubts for this games. Josh King looks likely to start up top for the visitors, but they will be up against it going away to what will naturally be a hostile atmosphere at St James' Park in what is a huge game for both sides.

This is a very tough game to call. Neither side are in any vein of form right now, but I can envisage Chris Wood marking his Newcastle arrival with a goal in what is such a big game. That's why I'm backing Chris Wood to score anytime with bet365.

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