Head coach Javi Gracia is in no doubt fellow Spaniard Rafael Benitez will have Newcastle fired up to face his Watford side. While the Hornets have secured a best-ever start to a top-flight season and sit in seventh place, the Magpies find themselves scrapping for points at the other end of the table.
Benitez’s side have yet to deliver a victory this season, but last month showed what they are capable of when racing into a 2-0 lead at Manchester United.
While working in La Liga, Gracia’s Malaga left Real Madrid with a creditable draw during September 2015, not long after Benitez had been appointed.
The pair renewed acquaintances in their Premier League clash towards the end of last season, when Watford beat Newcastle 2-1 at Vicarage Road.
Gracia is fully aware of what to expect when they meet in the dugout again on Saturday. “I know (Benitez from) a long time ago. He trained my hometown team Osasuna.
He is a coach with a lot of recognition in England and Spain,” the Watford boss said. “Everybody knows he is a great coach. He always shows it at all the teams he has been.”
Gracia added at a press conference reported on Watford’s website: “They are a good team, they have a very good coach. “Newcastle are looking for their first win, they are working very hard to try to get it and we need to be ready for a difficult game, for a tough game.
“All the games they are playing, they are playing with the option to get a better result. I am sure in the next game they will try again.”