And the pundit has emphasised the problem that faces Steve McClaren and co. Indeed, Newcastle's struggles in the top flight will be more of a priority on Tyneside, meaning less chance of an ambitious approach in the cup.
Watford aren't in that position, however, and Nicholas expects them to take full advantage at Vicarage Road.
He told Sky Sports: "Do Newcastle see this as a priority, or do they focus their attentions on stabilising themselves in the Premier League? Am I devaluing the FA Cup by saying that, yes I probably am but the league must be more important to them.
"For Watford, I see this as an opportunity to progress. I don't think Quique Sanchez Flores will tinkering around too much and can see him playing a strong side."
Unfortunately, it's a continuous cycle for Newcastle. Every year, Magpies fans would love their side to go as far as possible in the FA Cup.
But, every season that sees the St James' Park outfit struggle in the Premier League is one that shifts their priorities away from the knockout competitions. To enjoy a strong cup run, then, Newcastle will first have to sort out their league form.
Watford are enjoying much better times. Twelve points above the Magpies and closer to the top four than the relegation zone, Flores can afford to have a go in the cup.