Leicester (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

Thanks to our superb run of form in recent weeks, this one doesn’t feel quite as vital as it could have just a few weeks ago – but you can be sure Benitez will be keen to avoid any ounce of complacency creeping in.
 
We’re in touching distance of securing our Premier League status, with last weekend’s win putting us 7 clear of the bottom three, however Rafa has insisted that we’re not there yet – insisting that we’re still 5 points short of the 40 points target.
 
On current form (of both ourselves and our rivals), it’s looking very good for us, but Benitez will be aware that three straight defeats (Leicester, Arsenal, Everton) could all change that (and they’re all lose-able).
 
On the other end of the spectrum, we should also be looking up and realising that a win this weekend could even put us into the top 10. We’re full of confidence, on form and have real momentum, so I’m hoping to see us have a real go.
 
Leicester are pushing for 7th and a potential place in the Europa League, so this still means something to them. With that in mind, we’ll have to be on our game if we want to come away with something.
 
They are a team full of quality and energy, with the likes of Vardy and Mahrez meaning they always have a chance – even if they have an off day as a team tomorrow.

Preferred XI

Once again, I struggle to see why or how Rafa can change things from the side that have done so well in recent wins over Man Utd, Southampton and Huddersfield – especially when Slimani is unable to play:

Given Gayle’s total inability to finish his dinner last weekend, this could’ve been an ideal occasion to see Slimani make his full debut from the start, however the Leicester loanee won’t feature here for obvious reasons. Gayle needs to pull his socks up.

Diame picked up a knock last weekend and was withdrawn, however he’s won his race to be fit, meaning Merino and Hayden will have to wait for their chance once again (although I imagine Diame won’t play the full 90 given his recent injury issue).

The defence picks itself, as does Martin Dubrakva – with the Slovakian looking to pick up his third straight clean sheet tomorrow.

Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy –  Gayle

 

The Opposition

Aside from the obvious duo (Vardy and Mahrez), here’s a few players to watch out for tomorrow’s visitors:

Harry Maguire – He’s surprisingly good on the ball and is more than capable of playing out from the back and starting attacks from deep. He’s also a massive unit and one to really watch from set pieces.

Adrien Silva – The Portuguese international finally joined the Foxes for £22m in January, however he’s barely had a look in ahead of central midfield pair Iborra and Ndidi so far. The latter is suspended for this one, so it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on. He has talent and technical ability, but he’s not a like for like replacement for Ndidi – the man who shields their defence superbly.

Marc Alrighton – Like Chilwell (who’ll play behind him at LB), he’ll regularly put good deliveries into the box and works his socks off. An underrated player for the Foxes who seems to always deliver.

Kasper Schmeichel – He’s been a bit dodgy when I’ve watched him recently, yet, in the same breath, he’s the sort of stopper that could pull off a miraculous save to stop an almost certain goal. I hope we see the shaky Schmeichel tomorrow.

Predicted Leicester XI – (4-4-1-1) – Schmeichel– Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell – Mahrez, Iborra, Silva, Albrighton – Okazaki – Vardy.

For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 12th (35 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 3 / Drawn: 1 / Lost: 1

Leicester – 8th ( 43 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 2 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 1

 

Team news

Islam Slimani will be unable to play against his parent club due to loan rules, however Rafa has passed Mo Diame fit despite him picking up a knock in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield.

Joselu could return to the squad, however I fully expect Gayle to start up top again.

For Leicester, star midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is facing a ban after a red card in their recent 2-0 win at Brighton, leaving a big hole in their central midfield.

Matty James has been ruled out for the rest of the season and fellow midfielder Daniel Amartey also misses out because of a hamstring injury.

 

Match Prediction

I could worry that we’ll be complacent (with the Huddersfield win putting us on the brink of securing safety), but I actually think we’ll play with a bit of confidence and freedom here.

That being said, Leicester are a very dangerous side and the likes of Vardy and Mahrez will be a real handful – even if Ndidi’s absence could leave a real hole in their midfield.

I fancy a few goals and a scoring draw – Kenedy to smash in from 25 yards and Gayle to find the net finally after several huge misses vs Huddersfield.

Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

130 thoughts on “Leicester (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. Diame off for Hayden ! Diame carrying a knock so that kinda makes sense though I have little faith in Hayden.
    10 mins to hang on for these precious points

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  2. Perez has been class today and took his goal well – harder chance than Gayle’s last week and he didn’t f it up. Well done lad. He’s taken a lot of criticism from the fans but is now actually our top scorer, despite doing most of the eleg work for whichever average striker he happesn to get paired with!

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  3. And that’s it 38 points
    Not bad for a championship team 😉
    and the whole soccer Saturday panel said we’d lose

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  4. Well chuffed with that result although those last 10 mins were squeaky bum time… Perez goal was excellent… always said he was a superstar.. ???

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  5. Happy bloody birthday to me!!! ?????.

    Well I expected nowt today and even at 2-0 thought a draw was on the cards.
    Bloody brilliant that like – 10th … TENTH!!! Who would have thought that!!!.

    Perez seems a different player with Kenedy in the side like – lovely finish.
    But it’s Shelvey and Diame that get it for me. What a midfield force they have become in the last 5-6 games.

    Great result that and I’m 100% confident we are safe now. We’ll pick up a few more points along the way to make sure but looking at that table – Leicester are only 5 pts ahead of us in 8th …. dare we forget about looking over our shoulders now and actually mount a charge for 8th ????

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  6. Sharpy17:
    Happy bloody birthday to me!!! ?????.

    Well I expected nowt today and even at 2-0 thought a draw was on the cards.
    Bloody brilliant that like – 10th … TENTH!!!Who would have thought that!!!.

    Perez seems a different player with Kenedy in the side like – lovely finish.
    But it’s Shelvey and Diame that get it for me.What a midfield force they have become in the last 5-6 games.

    Great result that and I’m 100% confident we are safe now.We’ll pick up a few more points along the way to make sure but looking at that table – Leicester are only 5 pts ahead of us in 8th …. dare we forget about looking over our shoulders now and actually mount a charge for 8th ????

    Make that your birthday wish and you may get it!

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  7. That was a great result. 10th place is amazing. Motm for me was Shelvey. Have to say Perez goal was outstanding… I really think we are safe now. All the other results also went our way. Aaaaaaand relax! ?????

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  8. So happy with that today , I had hoped we’d nick a draw but a win is really good stuff.
    Any thing from the Arsenal game is gravy now, should get another 3 or 4 points from Everton and the baggies, though the baggies apparently played well with Pards out the way so who knows.
    Watford, spuds and Chelsea won’t be easy games so need to get something from WBA and the toffees imo.

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  9. Great result and I’m happy to be wrong about the result.

    Only know the score and scorers but its nice Perez to receive plaudits. Why .. coz he’s a Newcastle player and it’s good when they play well ?

    Not mathematical but hopefully we’re safe now

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  10. Happy Birthday Sharpy ! Excellent result today. Can we do one better and finish above Everton and Wayne Rooney ? I hope so.

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  11. Stem:
    Happy Birthday Sharpy !Excellent result today.Can we do one better and finish above Everton and Wayne Rooney ?I hope so.

    Thanks mate. I think we could but when you consider the money they have spent in comparison to us, it highlights just how good we are doing.

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  12. Tell you what, Paul Pogba is the most overrated hugely expensive player I’ve seen in a long long time!!!.
    He struts round with that stupid bloody haircut – the lad is way out his depth in this league!!. You might get away with that in a slower league but he’s a passenger out there today.

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  13. Yup me too.

    Haha .. isnt it just great to be wrong ?

    After every win I’ve muttered to myself .. three points closer to safety .. as that’s all I hoped for this season. Almost there and it’d be great to finish with a decent run in

    Stem:
    Glosmag I was expecting a defeat today tbh.Its always nice to get a unexpected 3 points

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  14. Wow. Relegation fight? We are a Top 10 side with a game in hand against most around us! Mental. What a run of form.

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  15. As good a job as everyone is saying Hodgson is doing, it was not long ago they were actually above us in the league. Now they are 3 points above the drop zone with Southampton having 2 games in hand against them. I k ow he started off well but they have gone right off the boil again.

    With the talent they have, he really should be doing better.

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  16. Aye alreet then Pogba – in my defence he has come out in the 2nd half a different player – maybe a Jose bollocking

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  17. Sharpy17:
    Tell you what, Paul Pogba is the most overrated hugely expensive player I’ve seen in a long long time!!!.
    He struts round with that stupid bloody haircut – the lad is way out his depth in this league!!.You might get away with that in a slower league but he’s a passenger out there today.

    You were saying

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  18. Shamrock:
    Mind you, Palace have had a horrific run against the top sides.

    They would be down but for Zaha,they never won a game while he was out

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  19. Icedog: You were saying

    Stand by it on his first half display Ice. The price he cost & the hype he gets he should be turning up for 90mins. He was awful that first half.

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  20. Shamrock:
    Mind you, Palace have had a horrific run against the top sides.

    Sham – too many of their big players have let them down this season mate. Benteke being the main one, along with Townsend.
    Ice is right, without Zaha they would be down and out with WBA in my opinion.

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  21. Icedog:
    Cannot believe how much time Shelvey had on the ball to score

    Agreed. The Leicester players dropped off him way too far .. but it was a decent finish too.

    When they defend, teams seem unable to cope with much when they’re not in structured ranks of four.
    Goes back to the point always stressed when I played/ coached tgat transition of possession is the most important phase of play to be inventive. Perez simply stopping and playing across the box threw the whole Leicester defence to allow shelvey in

    Actually thought all three goals were very soft to concede today

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  22. Well that manc Derby was something else wasn’t it. City really should of been 5 or 6 up first half.

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  23. Well, I got the score right.

    Still on 24 points in the Merson League. Tw@t.

    BIG FAT SAM: please close your mouth when chomping on your gum. Didn’t your Mam tell you it is rude to chew with your mouth open?

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  24. GlosMag: Agreed. The Leicester players dropped off him way too far .. but it was a decent finish too.

    When they defend,teams seem unable to cope with much when they’re not in structured ranks of four.
    Goes back to the point always stressed when I played/ coached tgat transition of possession is the most important phase of play to be inventive. Perez simply stopping and playing across the box threw the whole Leicester defence to allow shelvey in

    Actually thought all three goals were very soft to concede today

    What are you talking about1 Leicester backed off Shelvey, he moved inside and took his chance. Even without the deflection it was going in. Brilliant bit of skill from Perez. If you think that was soft, you are soft in the head.

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  25. Icedog:
    Keys and Grey the normal ****s,Leicester the better team toon should have been down to ten men

    Not a chance! We were all over them for the first 30 mins. They had a bit of pressure before we scored the 2nd but if they think Leicester deserved to win then I think they’ve been drinking.

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  26. Icedog:
    Keys and Grey the normal ****s,Leicester the better team toon should have been down to ten men

    What about McGuire then?

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  27. Ice: you don’t have to go too far to realise how delusional Keys and Gray are now. They supported the WBA appointment of Pardew, backed Big Fat Sam for England and then Everton after his corrupt pint-o-wine diatribe. Moyes, Lambert and Hughes were great appointments according to them.

    They watch a different game to the rest of us. They have that idiot Mirror journo on every week, John Cross, who all he ever does is talk about Arsenal for 10 minutes. They have a 50 minute show and who wants to hear about Arsenal for 50% of the time every week, every week, every week !!!!

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  28. And don’t get me started on their suits. They should get a tailor. They have both put on 2 stone since being in Qatar and wear the same clothes. Constantly pulling their jackets across their bellies because they don’t fit anymore and they can’t fasten the middle button when they stand up. I am sure they get paid enough to buy a new suit.

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  29. And giggling like a couple of school bairns at their own lame jokes. I like that they are having a good time but none of it is funny. Their “banter” is not funny. John Cross is simply not funny, even though they find him hilarious. I find it hilarious that they can’t tell him to put his skype camera straight on to his face and not pointing up his nose. None of us need to see his piggy nose hairs.

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  30. The talk of Manchester earlier got me thinking and I realised those Schmeichel boys don’t like a lob do they ???

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  31. We never looked like losing that game, even if we went all NUFC.

    Rafa went like for like subs showing even an old dog can learn new (old) tricks after he messed up at Bournemouth. I know, who am I to tell Rafa what to do? But he did change his tactics and I am just pointing it out.

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  32. AND… Rafa has stopped farting around with the lineups. Probably because it is end of season and he is not bothered about fatigue. But we are playing a consistent team and are consistently good.

    He said he likes to mix it up early season to keep everyone fresh and injury free. This is probably what he has always done but I never really kept close tabs on Rafa when he was not the NUFC Manager.

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