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

After that abysmal attempt to make sure of survival against Arsenal last Sunday, you’d like to think we’ve well and truly ‘rolled our sleeves up’ this week.

We looked like a side with one eye on our summer holidays, not securing our Premier League status; an approach that could yet see us get dragged back into a relegation battle if we’re not careful.

I say that because next up for us is a tough trip to Leicester City, followed by Man City at home next Friday. In that time, Fulham play Burnley and Southampton – two sides all but safe.

OK, Scott Parker’s side have looked pretty defeated in recent weeks and a side all but down, but our appalling display against Arsenal might just have given them a glimmer of hope – especially when their next few games are winnable ones ahead of our final day clash at Craven Cottage.

Although we rode our luck, our last away game saw us earn a big point at Anfield, giving us some hope heading into this one now Wilson is fit, ASM firing and Willock available again, however we’ll have to be way better in all areas of the pitch if we’re to compete with a Leicester City side who are strong at the back, dominant in midfield and ruthless in attack.

Team news

  • Joe Willock – Available once again after being ineligible to play against Arsenal last weekend.
  • Fabian Schar – Starts a 3-game ban after our appeal to get his red card overturned was somehow rejected.
  • Ryan Fraser – Still recovering from minor groin surgery.
  • Karl Darlow – Still recovering from a small operation on his knee.
  • Jamaal Lascelles – Remains out after suffering a stress fracture in his foot. Is ‘touch and go’ to play again this season.
  • Isaac Hayden – Ruled out of our final four games of the season with a knee injury.
  • Elliot Anderson – Out for a ‘couple of weeks’ after suffering

For the Foxes, Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans and Ricardo Pereira have all been passed fit, however Harvey Barnes remains out for the hosts after suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Predicted lineup

(5-3-2): Dubravka – Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie – S Longstaff, Shelvey (c), Willock – Saint-Maximin, Wilson.

With Willock available for selection again, he has to start and surely will. Not just because he has been brilliant, scoring three goals in his last three appearances, but because Bruce might struggle to bring him back to St James’ Park if he keeps leaving him on the bench!

Given Bruce refuses to drop Shelvey, I can see Almiron being sacrificed in this one. He has looked a little lost since we moved him back into a three-man midfield and has been noticeably quiet in our last few games. In his defence, he’s a number 10 being played out of position – not for the first time – by Bruce, so I can see him making way.

Elsewhere, I think Schar could’ve come back in had he not got himself sent off against Arsenal, so we’ll have to hope Fernandez, Clark and Dummett can put in a much improved display after two shaky defensive displays against Liverpool and Arsenal!

Match prediction

Based on last weekend’s showing and Leicester’s bid to secure Champions League football with another big win, I’m feeling anything but confident heading into this one.

They have one of the best midfield pairings in the Premier League in Tielemans and Ndidi, a fit-again James Maddison and one of the most lethal striker partnerships in Vardy and Iheanacho. Oh, and their manager is just a bit better than ours, with them beating us by an aggregate score of 10-1 in our last three meetings since Bruce took the job!

Hopefully the pressure gets to them as it did this time last season and they struggle to contain ASM’s trickery, Wilson’s presence and Willock’s late runs into the box in a much improved display from our perspective, however I’m fully expecting a home win, sadly.

Let’s hope they prove me wrong as they did a few weeks ago at Liverpool!

Prediction: Leicester 3-1 Newcastle

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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.

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

  1. Jabba going for the PL for everything. Not a good look for the PL being sued by a member

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  2. I agree that Bruceless will drop Almiron but he will also drop Longstaff and bring in Donkey as some sort of hold up winger.

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  3. Looking at the Arsenal team for Vallareal today it pretty much confirms that NUFC got overrun by what Arteta considers his second team.

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  4. Are the minutes from the arbitration hearing secret? I dont think the court procedings for this new case would be secret. It has to have something to do with collusion between Masters/Hoffman and PL clubs as has been rumoured for a long time. Probably Liverpool and Spurs as somebody must have the dirt on that. I doubt the fatman would go this far without some evidence.

    It cant have been BEIN as didnt they write an open letter to the PL?

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  5. Eric Sykes:
    Looking at the Arsenal team for Vallareal today it pretty much confirms that NUFC got overrun by what Arteta considers his second team.

    Eric – they had 2 shots on target when all they needed was 1 goal to go through – TWO SHOTS!!.

    They beat us because we showed no fight or enthusiasm to even compete with them – such is Bruce’s approach against the bigger clubs.

    Arsenal were awful tonight, far too many passes & no urgency to get the ball into their front players – that’s how Arteta wants them to play, but the keeper & defenders probably have 70% of their possession.

    First time in 25 years that they won’t play European football – wonder how many would take Wenger back right now!! 😂

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  6. I’m a big fan of Leicester, both as a team but and as a club too.
    They play really good football under Rodgers – who has had as many injuries as Lpool but made far less noise.
    If we could swap the set up with any other PL club, I’d take theirs. The owner does the right things by the club.

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  7. Sharpy: I recorded the Arsenal/Villareal match. You saying I shouldnt watch it 🙂

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  8. Man U will be hot favourites for the Europa League. Their fans will still complain though as it is not the Champions League.

    They are pretty close to having a very good team, Maybe replace Matic and/or Fred. You never know what you will get with those 2. If Pogba has his head on straight he can be a really good player, if not, he drifts in and out. Still a defensive liability which is why you shouldnt ask him to defend. He is a penalty waiting to happen.

    It will probably be City for the CL. Chelsea under Tuchel are a very good team but I cannot get the 5-2 loss to West Brom out of my head.

    So it is highly likely that the 2 European Cups will be won by 2 English teams who wanted out. Pretty ironic, but Uefa must be reformed. I have no idea why they want a 3rd tournament. As you dilute you devalue the other 2. It is like the Intertoto Cup or the Johnstone Paint Trophy. Who cares who won those.

    Or The Scottish Premier League 🙂

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  9. Will anybody be able to go to these finals? Europa is in Gdansk and CL is in Istanbul.

    Turkey has a reputation for not being the friendliest place for PL fans. I think the locals and the Police have a reputation for being aggressive.

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  10. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: I recorded the Arsenal/Villareal match. You saying I shouldnt watch it 🙂

    Didn’t you say you haven’t been sleeping well lately mate? – that game is just what you need 👌🏻

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  11. Eric Sykes:
    Will anybody be able to go to these finals? Europa is in Gdansk and CL is in Istanbul.

    Turkey has a reputation for not being the friendliest place for PL fans. I think the locals and the Police have a reputation for being aggressive.

    Turkey also has sky high covid cases at present too. My brother has a holiday booked for Turkey in september which he booked 2 years ago. Doesn’t know if they will be able to go.

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  12. I am now certain that even the nominating committee for Manager of the Month do not watch our games. It must be for results only and not perfromances. They must have looked at the form table and said we’ll nominate Bruce. It hide terrible perfomances against Burnley and Liverpool. Typical Bruce perfomances but we won one. Even that is a bit Brucey when he is not in one of his death spirals. You know, play awful and luck a draw or a win, usually by an individual piece of skill.

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  13. I know Shelvey gets a lot of stick but who else do we have? Somehow he is being asked to be a defensive midfielder. Is that Bruce or him. I have also seen cricism for him hoofing it to nowhere. Actually I sometimes think he has no choice just to relieve relentless pressure and regain shape. Longstaff has not been any better either.

    There will be groans when Shelvey is on the teamsheet but what choice does Bruce have? He also seems to have forgotten Matty Longstaff exists.

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  14. I also think that most NUFC fans would pick the team Olly suggests even though a similar team was terrible against Arsenal. We therefore cannot go all in after Bruce for that. We can complain about how they are coached. No pressing, staying in our own half, constant backpasses to Dubravka to hoof it to noone.

    I also watched Arsenal Fan TV for some comic relief. They hate Arteta now. They wanted rid of Emery and they wanted rid of Wenger before that. There really wasnt anybody else available when they got Arteta. They knew it was a gamble as he had never been the main man before. Max Allegri is still out there I think but I also think they wouldnt like his brand of football.

    Are the Arsenal fans delusional? They are used to success and they have the money to compete. Even during this relatively barren spell they have won FA Cups. Hell even Arteta got one. And they should have the choice of players. If you said to most twenty somethngs would they rather live in Manchester or London, most would choose the latter.

    I was in Manchester about 15 years ago and didnt really like it much. There was an Oasis concert going on though at that massive arena so that could account for the vibe.

    But are Arsenal fans delusional? Perhaps a little bit. They wanted Arteta even though he had no experience. It was an Anbody But Emery situation. Now they want this Spotify guy. Again I think it is Anyone But The Kroenkes. They should walk a mile in an NUFC fans shoes 🙂

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  15. I voted for Solkjaer as MOTM. I really thought the Man U job would be too much for him. He has done well this year though. 2nd in the PL and a probable Europa League. Most weeks they play pretty good football, it is just they have that little bit of inconsistency. I actually enjoy watching them and would choose them over Arsenal and Spurs to watch at the moment. 2nd half against Roma at home was like watching a Fergie team in their pomp. They have to give Cavani another year though.

    Just to finish, I am still not sure what to make of their fans behavior – heroic or riot?

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  16. I am not confident about tonight and I reckon that is the same for most NUFC fans. Even if we get hammered and it hits our GD, the bigger picture is that we are almost certainly safe. You just have to look at the relegation odds to see what sort of miracle Fulham need. They are 1/66 to be relegated. We are 25/1.

    The bookies have been all over the place this season but you have to guess that with 4 games to go they have this right.

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  17. This sort of flew under the radar this week with Bruce the Excuse blaming Covid and number of games for our predicament. Below is a column from Malcolm McDonald absolutely eviscerating this line of reasoning. We were not the only team to have a Covid outbreak and it hardly affected any starters. I think Lascelles and St Max were worst hit.

    I also have a suspicion it was our useless medical staff that didnt shut it down soon enough. Remember they played the Palace game when they knew we had infected players.

    https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-fans-dont-buy-excuses-20545965

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  18. The Mag and Harrisons both think Bruce will start 4 at the back. I just dont see that happening. I see him wanting to get to half time at nil nil and I think that Bruce reckons we have done well recently (he is shameless and delusional). Our Manager of the Month candidate does not know how to get Miggy, St Max and Wilson in the same team so I think Miggy will be scacrificed for Donkey.

    It will probably leave Wilson isolated up front and St Max given a freer role but marked by 3 players whenever he gets the ball. Donkey will play as a sort of defensive winger. We can only hope that he has the 1 game in 10 where the ball just doesnt bounce off him and go straight back to the opposition.

    Shelvey and Willock in Midfield.

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  19. I think we will lose tonight and against City. I also have a feeling Fulham will win their next two. They have winnable games. The end of the season will be squeaky bum time for us again. Sheffield United could be a banana skin. I’d hate to go to the final game against Fulham where it’s us or them.

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  20. The fact that Bruce is even being considered for manager of the month shows this is simply results based.
    Our performances have been woeful at best, but we managed to get a result against Burnley thanks to 5 mins of ASM brilliance and Willock coming up with some late goals in what was otherwise very drab performances.

    It should only be between Pep, Tuchel or Moyes imo.

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  21. So, Bruce did not change the shape. I just wonder if any of these bloggers watch NUFC at all and see the patterns of Bruce. It was obvious he would stick with wingbacks.

    Replaced Clark with Krafth which is a surprise. Not sure what he sees in Emil.

    Then I was shocked that Donkey was not recalled for Miggy. Happy, but surprised.

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  22. Gilly Toon:
    I think we will lose tonight and against City. I also have a feeling Fulham will win their next two. They have winnable games. The end of the season will be squeaky bum time for us again. Sheffield United could be a banana skin. I’d hate to go to the final game against Fulham where it’s us or them.

    Bookies dont agree Gilly. 1/66 Fulham to go down.

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  23. Leicester are our bogey side but are not unbeatable. They have had a couple of strange results this season but have generally done very well as evidenced by their 3rd place so far. I would really like to predict a draw but we are usually so crap against them!!! It is like Arsenal, we just dont set up well against them and you really have to go with your gut and say a loss.

    Hope I am wrong.

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  24. They just played Bruce’s pre-match. He is still sticking to the line that we played well until Arsenal. Burnley and Liverpool were abominations. We could have been down 4 nil in both at half time. Probably should have been 4-nil down.

    What is it now? 4 wins in 25? We luck a few wins and draws and Bruce sees that as us playing well. Dont get me wrong, I am glad for the results, but he lies about how we played.

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  25. I dont want Bruce to fail, but his whole PL career has been a failure! He calls it experience 🙂 Experience in failure.

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  26. It wasnt one of his dinky floaters. He whipped it in. He has the talent, I just dont know why is he usually so sh!t on corners and free kicks.

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  27. Brilliant break by NUFC. This is the best start for ages and we really should have had a goal.

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  28. omg Dummettttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttlol
    0.2

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  29. Eric Sykes:
    Who is this team in yellow I am watching?

    Need a third to really knock the stuffing out of em, they won’t be this poor second half

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  30. Well I didn’t expect this, great first half but really we should be 3 up. Cannot believe Maxi didn’t score … we will need another as I think this Leicester side have goals in them.

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  31. A couple of great saves by Dubs in the first half too… as I said I feel Leicester will score. I’d like a third 😱😂

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  32. Christ hope Perez doesn’t score against us

    Wilsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    0.3

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  33. Up to 13th.

    I had us on 12th before the start of the season.

    I have to admit it wasnt every scientific because I did it on aplhabetical order.

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