Monday Nov 27, 2017. 13:00
Ghanaian Christian Atsu was again absent as Newcastle United slumped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday.
The Magpies were given a chastening 3-0 beating at home by Watford, with Atsu missing a second successive match following the thigh injury he supposedly aggravate while on international duty with the Black Stars.
The loss to the Hornets is a fourth in succession for Rafael Benitez’s side, who have also been beaten by Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United in the sequence.
The defeat to United at Old Trafford is to be expected given the difference in the respective teams’ ambitions, but the losses against the other three will be major worries for Newcastle fans.
The club has dropped to 13th place on the log and is just four points above the relegation zone.
The good news is that Atsu is nearing a return from injury, with Benitez revealing last week that the winger is making encouraging progress.
The Magpies may even be tempted to fast-track his return when they face West Bromwich Albion in a midweek Premier League clash at the Hawthorns tomorrow night.
Short of that, they’ll definitely want him for the high profile match away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 2, where Atsu’s pace and penetration on the counter attack could be a key facet of their game plan.