Prediction: Leicester to win to nil
Newcastle United could all-but secure their Premier League survival this weekend as they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.
The Magpies sit seven points clear of the relegation so could edge ever closer to the 40-point mark with a victory against the 2015/16 Premier League champions on Saturday.
Despite their prospects of staving off relegation, it will be a tough test for Newcastle as they come up against Claude Puel’s in-form Leicester City. The Foxes have won their last two Premier League games, with a 4-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion followed by a 2-0 success against Brighton and Hove Albion. The East-Midlanders now seem to have got their pursuit of European football back on track following a few indifferent results. They now sit three points behind Burnley in eighth having only lost one out of their last six league games.
The match against the Magpies this weekend sees the Foxes return to the King Power Stadium in league action. Their last home result in the Premier League ended in a 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth. Home form this season has as usual been crucial for Leicester. They are undefeated at home since mid-December and have only lost four league games at the King Power Stadium, those coming at the hands of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
Foxes boss Claude Puel has confirmed that midfielder Matty James has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury. Their problems in the centre of the park also continue with Wilfred N’didi out through suspension following his red card at the Amex Stadium last weekend. Daniel Amartey is also restricted to a role on the side-lines.
Jamie Vardy is surely set to lead the line again. The England forward has scored six goals in his last eight Premier League games.
The Magpies head to Leicester in positive form themselves. Rafa Benitez’s men have won their last two games in the Premier League, leaving them comfortably away from the relegation zone. Their last victory came in the form of a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at St James’ Park. As a matter of fact, they have only lost one out of their last seven league games.
However, their away form will have the travelling masses somewhat concerned. Newcastle have not tasted victory away from home since a 1-0 win over relegation rivals Stoke City on New Years’ Day. In fact, they have only won two out of their last 14 games away from St James’ Park and have only managed to keep two clean sheets on the road all season. They also struggle to score goals away from home too having only netted 15 goals in as many games so far this campaign. Newcastle have also not managed to take a point off of any team in the top half of the table away from home all season, making this weekend’s task against the eighth-placed Foxes all the more daunting.
Striker Islam Slimani, who made his Newcastle debut against Huddersfield last weekend after joining on-loan from Leicester, is not eligible this weekend against his parent club. The Magpies could boosted by the return of Joselu who has been suffering with an ankle injury. Mo Diame could also feature having sustained a knock. Rob Elliot has also recovered from a back injury.
Key Facts To Consider
- Newcastle United have the marginally better record between the two teams (W51, D27, L43)
- Leicester City have won their last five games against the Magpies in all competitions
- The Foxes won the reverse fixture this season 3-2 at St James’ Park
- Leicester have not lost to Newcastle at home since December 1999
- The Foxes have kept four clean sheets in their last five games against Newcastle
With both sides in positive form in recent weeks, the clash at the King Power should be an intriguing one. The Foxes though are strong at home and should well have enough to earn the victory, continuing their pursuit of Europa League football.
Jamie Vardy seems to be scoring in every single game at the moment and may well be the favourite to open the scoring against the Magpies. Rafa Benitez’s men will find it tough considering their away form and they look unlikely to find the net on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Leicester to win to nil
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