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Wood and Dummett start against Watford

Chris Wood will make his Newcastle United debut on Saturday, with defender Paul Dummett also handed a first start of the campaign for the Magpies against Watford (3pm kick-off).

United welcome the Hornets to St. James’ Par, and a win for Eddie Howe’s men would see them leapfrog Claudio Ranieri’s side and exit the bottom three in the process.

And head coach Howe has turned to latest signing Wood, who joined from Burnley on Thursday, to lead the line for the hosts, with Dummett – who has missed most of the season through injury – coming into the starting 11 for the first time since May’s win over Fulham on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles also returns to the side in one of three changes to the United side following last weekend’s FA Cup third round defeat to Cambridge United.

Martin Dúbravka is fit enough to start in goal after he took a knock last weekend, with Kieran Trippier, Lascelles, Fabian Schär and Dummett forming a back four.

Jonjo Shelvey starts in the middle of the park alongside Sean Longstaff and Joelinton.

And New Zealand international Wood will be the focal point of the Newcastle attack, with Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser supplying the ammunition from the flanks.

There are two goalkeepers on the bench for the Magpies in Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie, with Emil Krafth, Jamal Lewis and Matt Ritchie providing defensive reinforcements.

There is a place among the substitutes for youngster Elliot Anderson, along with Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock, while Miguel Almirón provides a more offensive threat should Howe choose to deploy him.

Newcastle United: Martin Dúbravka; Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schär, Paul Dummett; Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton; Ryan Fraser, Chris Wood, Allan Saint-Maximin.

Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie, Emil Krafth, Jamal Lewis, Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock, Elliot Anderson, Miguel Almirón.

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