Watford will be without on-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley for the visit of table-topping Newcastle.

The Manchester United man was sent off in the 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe last weekend for a rash challenge on Michael O'Connor and begins a three-match ban.

Winger Will Buckley will have to wait a little longer to make his debut as he is still struggling with a thigh strain.

The 20-year-old, who joined the Hornets from League Two side Rochdale in January, was not fit enough for the reserves' win over Peterborough this week and is still trying to regain fitness.

Malky Mackay`s side go into the clash hoping to preserve their good home form which has seen them go unbeaten in their last three matches at Vicarage Road without conceding a goal.

Newcastle will be without in-form striker Peter Lovenkrands and winger Wayne Routledge.

Lovenkrands has not recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up shortly after scoring his eighth goal in as many appearances in the 3-0 win over Preston last weekend.

The Dane is expected to be fit for next Saturday's home clash with Barnsley, as are Jose Enrique (hamstring) and Nicky Butt (thigh).

Routledge will miss out at Vicarage Road with a calf problem, and his fitness will be monitored next week.

Midfielder Joey Barton is back in training after a long-term foot injury, but is still some way off a return to action, while Shola Ameobi (hamstring) and Steven Taylor (medial ligament) remain on the sidelines.

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