Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Newcastle United
Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, May 2nd – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)
Match Odds: Leicester 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Newcastle 3/1
Before the 3-1 midweek defeat at home to Chelsea, the Foxes had been on an incredible four-game winning streak which has lifted them out of the relegation zone and could potentially be the run that saves their season.
Nigel Pearson has apologised for his strange behaviour towards a journalist in the post-match press conference following the Chelsea game, but he must immediately focus all attention back to the on-field matters to ensure his side return to winning ways.Embed from Getty Images
Leicester have scored 12 goals in their last six games, totalling one third of their entire goals tally in the Premier League this season. They come into this game in 17th place and one point above Sunderland in 18th who have a game in hand, so they will be desperate for victory to open up a four point gap.
Newcastle would’ve felt they were all but safe after a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at the end of February but two months and seven straight defeats later and they now find themselves in amongst the frantic end of season dog fight to steer clear of the drop.
The Magpies are a club very much in disarray with thousands of fans boycotting the game against Tottenham two weeks ago, as well as further protests towards club owner Mike Ashley dominating the headlines following the 3-2 defeat at home to Swansea last time out.Embed from Getty Images
An away fixture could well provide a welcome break from all the negativity surrounding the club, although they couldn’t have picked much harder opposition than Leicester right now – only Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea have picked up more points than the Foxes in the last five matches.
John Carver has managed just two wins from 15 (D3, L10) Premier League games in charge of the club and the Toon Army have been in freefall for a while now, leaving them in 14th position, just five points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle won the reverse fixture 1-0 at St James’ Park back in October, although Leicester gained revenge with a 1-0 victory of their own in the FA Cup third round over the Magpies in the most recent meeting between the two.Embed from Getty Images
Robert Huth and Andy King are both doubts for Leicester after they both left the field with injuries in midweek, while David Nugent remains out. Jeff Schlupp is available once again following a calf problem.
Newcastle will still be without top goalscorer Papiss Cisse as he serves the last match of his lengthy ban. Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Massaido Haidara, Rolando Aarons and Rob Elliott are all out with injury. Moussa Sissoko will be available once again after missing the last two games through suspension, while Paul Dummett could return and Daryl Janmaat is trying to shake off an illness.Embed from Getty Images
Leicester’s last five: W/W/W/W/L
Newcastle’s last five: L/L/L/L/L
Key Stat: Newcastle’s current run of seven straight losses is their worst run of consecutive league defeats since 1977 when they lost a club record of 10 games in a row between August and October.
Key Player: Jamie Vardy – The Englishman has scored some vital goals for the Foxes this season and is always an exciting player to watch. With Newcastle’s current defensive frailties, he could cause chaos.Embed from Getty Images
Leicester City 2-1 Newcastle United – Leicester have been playing well recently and defeat to the champions-elect in midweek won’t be enough to disrupt the high confidence in the camp at the moment. They should edge one step closer to Premier League safety and heap further pressure on Newcastle who are flirting dangerously with the bottom of the table.