Breaking news: 35 is the new 40. Not in terms of ageing, where 40 stubbornly remains the old 40, but avoiding relegation. Once upon a time, 35 points guaranteed you a ticket to the second-tier, but in each of the last three seasons it has been enough to stay up. The struggles of Bournemouth and Aston Villa mean this season is likely to be no different.
If Watford beat Newcastle today they will move to 34 points, and the great escape will almost be complete. Watford have been so solid under Nigel Pearson that it’s easy to forget the state they were in when he took over. They had eight points from 15 games and were seven points from safety.
If they do stay up, it will thanks to their form at Vicarage Road. The 2-1 win over Norwich on Wednesday was their fifth in 10 home games under Pearson. If they make it six in 11, they will be tantalisingly close to the magical 35-point mark.
Kick off 12.30pm.