Leicester aim to keep pace at the top and play out of sorts Newcastle
Leicester to win 2-0
Leicester will be eager to return to winning ways in the first game of the New Year, especially against a side who do not look capable of stringing two good performances together right now.
The Foxes remain 3rd in the table after back-to-back draws against Manchester United and Crystal Palace, but at least have the chance to put pressure on Liverpool and Manchester United above them before those two play again.
You feel that Leicester certainly have the quality to push for the Champions League spots all the way this season, but it may be just the inconsistency we’ve seen over the past couple of games that prevents them being included in any title talk.
As for Newcastle, the Magpies are without a win in four, with two defeats coming during that time. They managed to earn an excellent point against Liverpool, though much of that was down to the Reds not hitting top gear.
Leicester are favourites here.
Form Guide (all comps): LDLLD
Reasons to be cheerful:
Point against Liverpool will boost confidence
Newcastle aiming for their 50th win against Leicester
Reasons to be fearful:
A few key absentees, such as Hayden, Fraser and Lascelles
Currently on their longest winless run of the season
Newcastle were solid rather than spectacular when earning their point against Liverpool in their last match of 2020.
The Magpies had just 27% possession throughout the match and rarely looked like causing their opponents any problems at the other end of the field. Goalkeeper Darlow needed his best performance of the season so far.
But, when things are tight in the bottom half, a point is a good result against a team who will beat most opponents placed before them.
Unfortunately, Newcastle often start the year poorly, having lost six of the last eight opening fixtures including against Leicester a year ago. You feel that they must be more positive here against a Leicester side who are so dangerous away from home.
Star Man – Callum Wilson
Was left stranded against Liverpool, but has been involved in 11 of Newcastle’s 17 goals this season (eight goals, three assists)
Form Guide (all comps): WLWDD
Reasons to be cheerful
Have won each of their last four away games against Newcastle
Victory in six of their eight league matches this season
Reasons to be fearful
Haven’t gone four league matches unbeaten in a row this season
Newcastle have shown they can make it difficult for big sides
Leicester will seen this as a fine opportunity to keep pace at the top of the table, with both Liverpool and Manchester United, having drawn their last two fixtures.
The good news is that Leicester are far better away from home this season, with six of their nine wins coming on their travels. Jamie Vardy is also loving life on the road, having scored nine of his 11 goals away from the King Power stadium.
The Foxes will have examined Liverpool’s draw here last week and will have a plan to get through the stubborn Newcastle defence. Leicester must prepare themselves for the fact that Newcastle will have every man behind the ball for much of the game.
It’s a game Leicester will feel they can win.
Star Man – Jamie Vardy
Seems to get better with age, and will be hoping to enjoy another stellar year in 2021.
Leicester will boss possession – likely over 60%
If Leicester score early, Newcastle may be thrashed
Newcastle can create a chance or two themselves
Newcastle will approach this is the same way as their match against Liverpool. They will sit back, aim to be solid in defence and try and counter when appropriate.
Leicester will need to be patient, but should they score first and quickly, they could enjoy themselves here.
Either way, they should have too much for this up and down Newcastle side.
Leicester to win 2-0