Leicester (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

Merry Christmas to all Mags! We hope you’ve enjoyed your day with friends and family ahead of the main event – Newcastle’s Boxing Day trip to Leicester City!

As Eddie Howe said in his Friday morning press conference, the best gift he could receive this Christmas would be three points at the King Power Stadium!

In what will be our first Premier League game since that mid November win over Chelsea, we’ll be looking to pick up from where we left off prior to the World Cup, keep the momentum going and maintain our place in the top four.

We’ve won our last SIX games in all competitions, moving into the quarter final of the Carabao Cup – where we’ll face Leicester next month – after a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth in the last 16.

Mix that with a productive mid-season training camp in Saudi Arabia, two friendly wins and a relatively clean bill of health, I’d say we’re heading to the Midlands in good shape. We were rusty against the Cherries, lacking that cutting edge in the final third, but winning, dominating possession, pressing well and keeping a clean sheet when well below your best is a sign of a good side!

Leicester endured an awful start to the season, but they have been quietly impressive of late, winning six of their last seven games in all competitions, conceding just one goal in the process.

Team news

Alexander Isak (thigh) has been ruled out of our final two games of 2022, but Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin are both available for selection.

Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett are expected to miss out once again, with the former still a long-term absentee after suffering an ACL injury.

For the hosts, Toon target James Maddison is a doubt, while Jonny Evans, Ricardo Pereira, James Justin and Ryan Bertrand have all been ruled out by Brendan Rodgers.

Predicted line ups

(4-3-3): Pope – Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn – Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock – Almiron, Wilson, Joelinton.

The back four picks itself at present, with Burn currently the preferred option at left-back after Botman and Schar have built a formidable partnership in the middle.

Hopefully Trippier and Pope can continue to be models of consistency after returning from England duty, with Wilson also in contention to return to Howe’s starting XI after starting in our Carabao Cup win over Bournemouth.

Longstaff and Willock are both in good form and should continue alongside Bruno in the middle, meaning it could be one of Joelinton or Saint-Maximin out wide. The latter is our difference maker and finally fit again, but big Joe is a key player who tends to start when fit.

If I had to put money on it, I’d back Howe to stick with the set up that’s helped us to six straight Premier League wins, meaning ASM could be limited to a cameo role at the King Power:


Prior to the World Cup, we were a team on a mission. Relentless with our pressing, rock solid defensively, scoring goals and regularly great value across our five straight wins over Everton, Spurs, Aston Villa, Southampton and Chelsea.

As mentioned earlier in the piece, Leicester have plenty of quality and arrive in much better form. They’ll be no pushovers – especially if Maddison is fit to play – but I can’t help but feel Eddie Howe’s Mags will have too much for the Foxes.

Willock to score again in a Boxing Day win in front of the travelling Toon Army!

Prediction: Leicester 1-2 Newcastle

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *