Kevin Mbabu

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At Vicarage Road


Kevin Mbabu returns to the Newcastle United starting line-up for Saturday's Emirates FA Cup third round tie at Watford (3pm kick-off).

The Swiss full-back has made four appearances to date this term and comes back in to the Magpies' side as they look to put an end to a run of three successive single-goal defeats and progress to the fourth round in the process.

That is the only change from United's previous match, at Arsenal, and signals head coach Steve McClaren's desire to embark on a cup run.

Newcastle are expected to line up in a 3-5-2 formation, with Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Rob Elliot behind a back three of Chancel Mbemba, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Paul Dummett.

Daryl Janmaat and Mbabu will take up roles as wing-backs, with Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote and seven-goal leading scorer Georginio Wijnaldum patrolling the middle of the park.

And in the final third, Spanish starlet Ayoze Perex and Serbian international Aleksandar Mitrovic are paired together once again.

On a strong substitutes' bench there are places for Siem de Jong, Florian Thauvin, Yoan Gouffran, Ivan Toney, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamie Sterry, Karl Darlow.


Watford (4-2-3-1): Heurelho Gomes; Allan Nyom, Craig Cathcart, Sebastian Prodl, Jose Holebas; Ben Watson, Adlene Guedioura; Steven Berghuis, Troy Deeney (c), Jose Manuel Jurado; Obbi Oulare

Substitutes: Giedrius Arlauskis, Miguel Britos, Etienne Capoue, Almen Abdi, Ikechi Anya, Victor Ibarbo, Odion Ighalo


Newcastle United (3-5-2): Rob Elliot; Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett; Daryl Janmaat, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Georginio Wijnaldum, Kevin Mbabu; Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez

Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Jamie Sterry, Jamaal Lascelles, Siem de Jong, Yoan Gouffran, Florian Thauvin, Ivan Toney


Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)