Verdict: Newcastle win
Best Odds: 2/5
Two sides who find themselves battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table, Newcastle will welcome Leicester to St. James’ Park on Monday night.
Starting with the hosts, forced to settle for an action-packed 2-2 draw away at relegation scrappers Leeds last week, Newcastle will be glad to make a return to home soil on Monday night. However, despite opening May with a 2-0 loss against Arsenal, Eddie Howe’s side still sit in pole position to claim a famous Champions League finish this season. Knowing that they can finish off the job here, the Magpies have continued to gain a string of plaudits on either side of the World Cup’s winter break. With the mood around St. James’ Park still at a red-hot high, the former Bournemouth boss should be smelling a golden chance on Monday night. Although Howe’s side might have shown some extended defensive issues over recent times, Newcastle have impressed with their free-scoring displays in the final third. Including a stunning 6-1 romp against Tottenham on April 23rd, they have now bagged 15 strikes in their last five top-flight outings.
While both Keiran Trippier and Joelinton might have picked up late knocks during Newcastle’s 4-1 win against Brighton on Monday night, both are expected to feature here.
Once again finding the net last time out and now notching 11 strikes since returning from March’s international break, the red-hot Callum Wilson will spearhead Howe’s attack at St. James’ Park.
As for the visitors, putting in another nightmare display last week as they slumped to a routine 3-0 drumming at home against Liverpool, Leicester appear to be seeking a Premier League miracle over the final fortnight. Sat firmly in the drop zone and now tipped as a runaway contender to be hit with a shock top-flight relegation, Dean Smith has failed to offer the Foxes any kind of stability since arriving at the King Power. With their woeful run of form highlighted by an action-packed 5-3 defeat away at Fulham on May 8th, the former Aston Villa boss has seen his side come under a huge amount of scrutiny. In fact, aside from a 2-1 win against Wolves last month, that is the only domestic victory that Leicester have collected from their last 15 appearances across all competitions. With that rut stemming all the way back to February 11th, Monday’s guests will be more than aware that they face a monumental challenge when they travel to St. James’ Park here.
Leicester will travel to St. James’ Park without the trio of Ryan Bertrand, James Justin and Jannik Vestergaard. However, Smith’s side remain hopeful that Kelechi Iheanacho and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall could make their returns here.
Making his first start since the start of November last time out, Johnny Evans should once again partner Wout Faes at the back.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Newcastle and Leicester last met on January 10th, the Magpies claimed a 2-0 victory at St. James’ Park while on EFL Cup duties.
- Likewise, Howe’s side have won each of their last three straight meetings against the Foxes by an aggregate score of 7-1.
- Leicester have recorded just a single win from any of their last 15 straight appearances across all competitions.
- Monday’s guests have also collected just a pair of points from their previous seven Premier League appearances away from the King Power.
- Newcastle have won four of their previous five Premier League showdowns at St. James’ Park.
While Newcastle might have been disappointed after only collecting a single point away at Elland Road last time out, Howe’s high-flying squad will be smelling a golden chance here. Still sat firmly in pole position to clinch a famous Champions League return and knowing that they can finish off the job on home soil, Monday’s hosts will be looking to cash in on a Leicester squad who are free-falling their way out of the Premier League. Mustering just a single win from any of their last 15 straight appearances across all competitions, the Foxes are now seeking a minor miracle when they travel to St. James’ Park. Suffering a 2-0 loss when they traveled to the north east for an EFL Cup clash on January 10th, we are expecting a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Newcastle win
Best Odds: 2/5
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