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Preview: Leicester City vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups
12/12/2021 13:37:45

Leicester City play host to Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon having dropped into the bottom half of the Premier League standings, a consequence of winning just one of their last six games.

Meanwhile, Newcastle moved to within three points of safety last weekend after edging out Burnley, their first victory since the appointment of Eddie Howe.

We say: Leicester City 3-2 Newcastle United

Both teams are far stronger in attack than they are defence, and that should only lead to an entertaining fixture at the King Power Stadium. While we expect the Magpies to lead at some stage, the Foxes have the firepower to edge this contest in the closing stages.

Match preview

On the back of last season's performances, occupying a place in the bottom half of the table and an early exit from the Europa League seemed highly unlikely for a team on Leicester's upward trajectory.

However, the Foxes have struggled for consistency since the beginning of the campaign, and Brendan Rodgers faces a fight to get his team back on track during the winter period.

Thursday's 3-2 defeat at Napoli has left Leicester with Europa Conference League football in February, a competition that Rodgers seemingly does not hold in high regard based on his comments on Thursday.

Nevertheless, his sole focus over the coming weeks will be attempting to move Leicester up the Premier League table, their current standing of 11th position a result of five points coming from six games.

Despite still making an impact in the final third, their goal threat has often being undermined by their efforts in defence, Leicester having now conceded at least twice in their last four top-flight games.

Such a statistic will only offer encouragement to a Newcastle side who seem to be on the right track under Howe, regardless of dropped points during a favourable home schedule.

That said, five points have still come from games against Brentford, Norwich City and Burnley, the latest result coming by a 1-0 scoreline courtesy of a goal from Callum Wilson.

The Magpies ended a run of 14 games without a league win in the process, and there is now genuine optimism among the group that they can go to the King Power Stadium and collect maximum points.

Newcastle do possess the worst away record in the division, posting just three points from seven games, but draws at Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion are still fresh in the memory.

Team News

With several players missing due to coronavirus and illness, Rodgers will likely have to choose from the Leicester players who featured in the squad versus Napoli.

Having played 90 minutes, Jamie Vardy could drop out for Patson Daka, while Boubakary Soumare may be brought into the side to strengthen the midfield.

Luke Thomas is also in line to return at left-back after remaining as an unused substitute on Thursday night.

While Howe will give consideration to selecting the same Newcastle XI from last weekend, he may choose a more cautious approach.

A more defensively-minded player could line up on the flank, such as Matt Ritchie or Jacob Murphy, with Miguel Almiron potentially dropping out of the team.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:

Schmeichel; Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans, Soumare; Maddison, Daka, Barnes

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:

Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lewis; Murphy, Shelvey, Willock, Saint-Maximan; Joelinton, Wilson

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