New signing Chris Wood can help Newcastle bag just their second win of the season when they host Watford on Saturday afternoon, says Dave Tindall...
"One interesting find when looking at Wood's stats is that he tends to produce his best post-Christmas. It appears as if Newcastle have bagged him at a good time and this looks the perfect opportunity for the New Zealander to hit the ground running."
Magpies hoping new signings can provide spark
Premier League points for Newcastle are still just trickling in rather than coming in a rush and it means they start the weekend second bottom of the table.
But as well as being bought by mega-rich owners, they've struck lucky in another way: there are quite possibly three teams this season who could be worse than them!
One of those are Watford, who have 13 points to Newcastle's 11. That means the Magpies can go above them with victory and, with third bottom Burnley having yet another game called off, three points for Eddie Howe's men would lift them out of the relegation zone.
- Leeds United 0 1 Newcastle United
- Newcastle United 1 1 Watford
- Newcastle United 0 1 Cambridge United
- Southampton 0 0 Newcastle United
- Everton 0 0 Newcastle United
- Newcastle United 1 1 Manchester United
- Watford 0 3 Norwich City
- Newcastle United 1 1 Watford
- Leicester City 4 1 Watford
- Watford 0 1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Watford 1 4 West Ham United
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 Watford
Of course, we're now in January and this was always earmarked as the time when Newcastle would start to press the accelerator as they went to work in the transfer window.
So far they've kept it sensible rather than spectacular and accrued the services of England full-back Kieran Trippier and striker Chris Wood from Burnley.
Both will be available for selection on Saturday.
Ranieri bounce is wearing off
For a while there, it looked as if Watford had pulled a mini-masterstroke by accruing the services of Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian, who so famously led Leicester to the title, picked up striking wins over Everton (5-2) and Manchester United (4-1) but they are the big outliers of his reign so far.
They've followed that with six straight Premier League defeats and a 4-1 FA Cup loss to Leicester. In a flash, it would come as no surprise if Ranieri becomes yet another Hornets boss quickly booted out of the door.
For this one, they have players absent at the African Cup of Nations: Ismaila Sarr, William Troost-Ekong, Adam Masina and Imran Louza. There are other injury doubts on top.
Watford have got a decent record against Newcastle with five wins in the last 10 but Ranieri is struggling to get a tune out of the current lot.
With home advantage, Newcastle are the clear 2.111/10 favourites to bank the three points.
The Draw is 3.711/4 while Watford are 3.8514/5 to return south with a victory.
In terms of home and away form, Newcastle have just a single win, five draws and four defeats. They've scored 13 goals which is okay but conceding 22 is not.
Watford have been boom but mainly bust on their travels. They've won two but lost the other six. Only nine teams have bettered their away tally of 11 goals although nearly half of those came in one match at Goodison.
Chris Wood's signing has been much discussed in the media this week. Is it underwhelming? Are Burnley mad to sell to a relegation rival? Or are Sean Dyche's men getting a big price for a striker who has just three goals this season?
Wood says he'd become stale at Burnley so a move could do him the world of good.
One interesting find when looking at Wood's stats is that he tends to produce his best post-Christmas.
Last term he had just three goals in the bank before Christmas Day (same as the current campaign) but ended the season with 12 to his name, strikes which helped keep Burnley up.
Wind back to the season before and he added another seven top-flight goals from January onwards. It appears as if Newcastle have bagged him at a good time and this looks the perfect opportunity for the New Zealander to hit the ground running.
Watford haven't kept a clean sheet in the Premier League this season although they do usually pop up with a goal. In their current run of seven straight losses, they've actually scored in six of them.
Let's put all this together then and back Chris Wood to score anytime, Newcastle to win and Both teams to Score. It pays 5.04/1 on the Bet Builder.
Watford are without a clean sheet in any of their last 28 Premier League games, since beating Liverpool 3-0 in February 2020. The Hornets' last clean sheet away from home in the competition was in January 2020, in a 3-0 victory against Eddie Howe's Bournemouth.
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Dave's profit for 2021/22 season