Newcastle vs Leicester – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Monday 22nd May 2023
St James’ Park
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leicester’s trip to Newcastle. Leicester desperately need some kind of result here – can they get it? Free betting tips and more with our Newcastle vs Leicester prediction.
Newcastle vs Leicester Preview
Newcastle sign off their home season with this game against Leicester. The Toon have been in good form recently. Indeed, they have collected 13 points from their previous six league games, with a loss to Arsenal and a draw against Leeds the only blips. They have scored nineteen goals across this period, including six against Spurs, four against Everton, three against Southampton and four in the previous game against the impressive Brighton. Indeed, Newcastle were relentless against the Seagulls, thoroughly deserving to win thanks to an own goal from Caicedo and further notches from Burn, Guimaraes and the in-form Wilson.
At home, Newcastle have been good this season – only four sides have picked up more points as hosts. Indeed, those four (Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool) are traditionally strong in their own stadiums. With 11 wins and 38 points from 18 games, Newcastle will hope to sign off here in style against struggling opposition. In third, three points ahead of Liverpool in fifth (Newcastle with a superior goal difference), Newcastle are all but confirmed as Champions League competitors for the first time in twenty years and can confirm their place by avoiding defeat here or against Chelsea in the last game.
Leicester make the trip north in desperate trouble. Their fate is still in their own hands, as they will likely stay up on goal difference if they win their last two games (final game home to already safe West Ham). However, the odds are against them winning this match. Indeed, the Foxes have only won one of their last 14 league games – an appalling record. It is a big challenge to ask them to win two in a row now. Their performance at home last Monday against Liverpool was underwhelming – Liverpool won 3-0 and had chances galore; the fans booed Leicester off the park.
Away from home, Leicester have won four of 18 games, collecting 14 points. Only four sides have collected fewer points on the road. With a -13 goal difference away, it would raise eyebrows if they somehow turned up in Newcastle and won. While it’s normal for teams to be better at home, the massive problem for Leicester has been that they only have 16 points at the King Power. If Leicester draw this game, they will rely on beating West Ham and Everton not beating Bournemouth at Goodison on the final day. If Leicester lose here, they must defeat West Ham and hope Everton lose. Either way, Leicester seem doomed.
There have been at least three goals scored in eight of Newcastle’s last nine league games, and they’ve won their last three games against Leicester (all competitions), so we could see a big win for the Magpies here.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Joelinton, S Longstaff, Murphy
Will Not Play: Krafth, M Longstaff, Ritchie, Fraser, Willock
Might Not Play: Dewsbury-Hall, Iheanacho, Soyuncu
Will Not Play: Ward, Bertrand, Justin, Vestergaard
Newcastle vs Leicester Lineups (Predicted)
Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope; Burn, Botman, Schar, Trippier; Guimaraes, Joelinton, Anderson; Isak, Wilson, Almiron
Leicester (4-3-3): Iversen; Kristiansen, Faes, Evans, Castagne; Ndidi, Soumare, Tielemans; Barnes, Maddison, Vardy
Newcastle vs Leicester Analysis
Newcastle Are Tantalisingly Close To Champions League Qualification
Newcastle only require one more point to qualify for the Champions League. Hence, they will be determined to win this final home game of the season and put on a show in the process. They will likely come out and attack Leicester from the off – Leicester are under severe pressure and concede goals galore. With Newcastle scoring an abundance of goals in recent weeks, the Magpies will attack Leicester from the start.
As always, Guimaraes will be vital in midfield – his ability to control the game, press, and play long and short passes will give Newcastle a foothold and allow them to exert pressure on the Foxes. He will be well supported by Joelinton (if fit), and Anderson will likely come in for the injured Willock. This midfield three will give Newcastle the platform to control the game and also press to win the ball back. When Leicester get opportunities on the counter, the Newcastle midfield and centre-backs must make interceptions and defend one-on-one to not allow Leicester shots on target.
In attack, Newcastle have plenty of options. Wilson has been in excellent goalscoring form, and we expect him to start with Isak as the auxiliary left-winger. Isak has excellent close control, passing, link-up and dribbling, and his connection with the predatory Wilson can help Newcastle score. Other options are pacey, tricky dribblers and link players such as Almiron, Saint-Maximin and Gordon. These three, Trippier from right-back and Isak, offer much creativity and more than enough invention to score goals.
This Match Is A Must-Win For Leicester
With Everton three points ahead but having played a game more, Leicester still have their fate in their own hands. However, to ensure staying up with a victory over West Ham on the final day, Leicester must win here, which is a very tall order. Newcastle have been brilliant in terms of goalscoring recently, and Leicester are defensively porous.
Newcastle will likely control much of the game. Leicester tend to be a passing side, but coming away to St James. Park and with Newcastle in the relentless form they are in, Leicester will likely be under the cosh. The back four and three central midfielders must try to be compact and squeeze close together, denying any space where Newcastle can find gaps. Leicester must also try to cover on the sides; such is the threat of the previously mentioned Geordie wide players.
In midfield, Leicester have two energetic, athletic and tenacious holding midfielders in Ndidi and Soumare. They must cover much ground and get through a mountain of work to ensure Newcastle don’t get joy in attacking areas. As the third man, Telemans can get on the ball and try to make things happen, as Leicester tend to be at their best when he knits play. He will try to connect the midfield and attack, as will Maddison.
Maddison is a very tricky and talented attacking midfielder. While starting from a wing position, he is at his best drifting into the number 10 role. Therefore, he will try to make things happen through dribbling and passing. Leicester’s best chance is in transition when they can get the ball forward. Unfortunately, the veteran Vardy has lost much of his pace. Daka could start instead to inject more youthful exuberance, but we have gone for Smith to stick with Vardy. Barnes at wide left will also be a threat with his pace, dribbling and shooting.
Leicester are under massive pressure here. There is arguably more riding on this match for them than Newcastle because bar Newcastle losing their final two games, Liverpool winning on the last day, and a seven-goal swing, Newcastle will qualify for the Champions League. While momentum and runs of form can be nebulous concepts in football (especially with a pre-season to come), Newcastle will want to keep their good performances going.
The Toon will likely control the game and put Leicester under massive pressure. We cannot see Leicester coping with the onslaught that Newcastle will put them under. Newcastle will use quick, incisive passing, wide dribbling, crosses and set pieces to try to break Leicester down, and we think they will. Leicester will likely have few opportunities to score and must make any count. Our predicted scoreline may even be a little conservative, given the hammerings Newcastle have dealt out recently.
Newcastle 2-0 Leicester
Newcastle vs Leicester Betting Tip – Newcastle Odds:
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