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

‘Our season starts here’ was the message coming from Jamaal Lascelles after last week’s 1-0 win over Burnley.

Hopefully that huge three points and the confidence boost it could bring galvanizes the players ahead of what really is a tough run of fixtures over Christmas.

Brentford helped us out last night, coming from 0-1 down to beat Watford 2-1 in the 95th minute – a result that leaves us just three points from safety ahead of Sunday’s game – however it’s absolutely vital we take advantage.

Some are seeing these next few games as a bit of a ‘free hit’, yet Leicester away is not only a winnable game on current form, but also the sort of scalp we might need to take if we’re to make up for our awful start to the season.

They’re in the middle of a Covid crisis, have won just ONE of their last six league games and had a tough match in Naples on Thursday night, being dumped out of the Europa League after a 3-2 defeat. Not only that, this is a team we beat 4-2 last season at the King Power Stadium.

Couple all of the above with our newfound momentum after last week’s win, there’s no reason why we can’t start this tough festive run off with a bang!

Team news

Ryan Fraser is expected to be OK after recovering from a hamstring issue and Howe also seems hopeful that Fabian Schar will be fit to play after missing a few training sessions with a rib injury.

Ciaran Clark is back from a one-game ban, but Paul Dummett and Elliot Anderson will be missing once again.

As for the visitors, Youri Tielemans is fit again for the first time in five weeks, however it remains to be seen who will miss out with Covid after Ademola Lookman, Daniel Amartey, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jannick Vestergaard, Ayoze Perez and Filip Benkovic all not travelling to their Europa League game on Thursday.

Predicted line ups

(4-4-1-1): Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lewis – Almiron, Willock, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin – Joelinton – Wilson.

(4-2-3-1): Schmeichel – Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas – Ndidi, Tielemans – Alrbighton, Maddison, Barnes – Vardy.

With Fabian Schar expected to be OK and no other injuries picked up in last week’s win over Burnley, I’m not sure Howe will make any changes for this one.

There’s a chance he could bring Ryan Fraser into the side – he hasn’t featured since Clark’s red card saw him subbed off early vs Norwich – but Miguel Almiron’s energy and pace could be a valuable asset on the counter.

Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff will surely get some game time over the hectic festive period. Will we see either start ahead of Jonjo Shelvey or Joe Willock on Sunday? I don’t think so. The former seems to be one of the first names on the team sheet under Howe, while Willock’s non-stop running and outstanding display in this fixture last year means he’s likely to keep his place.

In attack, we’ll have to hope Joelinton can pick up from where he left off against Burnley and that Allan Saint-Maximin can get back to his best after a few surprisingly subdued displays.

As for Wilson, he scored twice in this fixture last season, but will need to avoid a yellow card once again – or he’ll miss next Thursday’s trip to Liverpool.

Match prediction

I wouldn’t say I’m suddenly confident going into this game after last week’s win and Leicester’s rough run of form, but there’s no reason why we can’t cause their leaky defence big problems and come away with a result.

They’ve got plenty of issues to contend with and won’t long have returned from Thursday night’s game in Naples. However, Youri Tielemans’ return is a huge boost, being a top player that makes them tick from midfield.

As a result, it could be a tough midfield battle to win against both him and Wilfried Ndid, yet they might also be wary if we can get ASM, Wilson, Joelinton and Almiron running at and beyond their back four!

I don’t think we’ll win, but do fancy us to leave Leicester with a point in a high-scoring draw.

Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Newcastle

HOWAY THE LADS!

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!

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

  1. Olly: I am going to repeat what I said from the last thread. I watched the Napoli game and it was a Monsoon. Rodgers played his best team and it would have been the same team with or without Covid. Not only that, but Leicester were chasing the game from the 2nd minute. Rodgers had to keep his best players on for the whole game. They must be exhausted mentally and physically. They also lost and are out of the Europa League, so that is another kick in the gut.

    Probably the only smart thing Alan Pardew ever said in his life was that these EL Thursday/Sunday turnarounds are very difficult. That is what Leicester have to deal with along with their bad run of form and Vardy not really lighting it up this season. Maybe age is finally catching up with him?

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  2. Did anybody ever see what Jamie Vardy said a few years ago about his pre-game preparations? The night before he said he would have vodka and skittles mixed together. Skittles are pretty much pure sugar. Then on game day he would have 3 red bulls.

    I doubt the sports nutritionists at Leicester let him do this any more after reading that 🙂

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  3. Eric+Sykes:
    Olly: I am going to repeat what I said from the last thread. I watched the Napoli game and it was a Monsoon. Rodgers played his best team and it would have been the same team with or without Covid. Not only that, but Leicester were chasing the game from the 2nd minute. Rodgers had to keep his best players on for the whole game. They must be exhausted mentally and physically. They also lost and are out of the Europa League, so that is another kick in the gut.

    Probably the only smart thing Alan Pardew ever said in his life was that these EL Thursday/Sunday turnarounds are very difficult. That is what Leicester have to deal with along with their bad run of form and Vardy not really lighting it up this season. Maybe age is finally catching up with him?

    Sounds promising. Best time to play them!

    Bit harsh on Vardy mind. Only Salah has more PL goals than him this season!! 😆

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  4. Olly: I think my judgement might have been swayed by the easy chance Vardy missed at the very end of the Napoli game 🙂 I think he has been a total menace and impossible to mark for about 5 seasons, but was wishful thinking on my part that he was going downhill.

    The Vodka-skittles-Red Bull thing is correct though 🙂

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  5. Hells bells Man Utd nearly c0cked that up for us!!. But we got the result from them.

    Man Utd were awful today & De Gea was given MOTM – that says it all really.

    If we can get a result from Leicester, then Man Utd & Everton don’t look so daunting imo.

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  6. Well the key is set pieces as they don’t deal well with them at all. Need to win as many free kicks and corners as possible tomorrow. Last match we had around 11 or 12 corners and got nowt from them, we must make them count tomorrow when we get them because scoring from open play won’t be easy if Tielemans is back as olly says.
    Be happy with a point but really think it’s a chance to get another 3 tbh.

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  7. The so-called top teams all struggled a bit today although Man City missed a lot of chances. Of the ones that we have to play in the coming weeks Man U look most vulnerable. I watched their game today and they were lucky. I dont think they know what to do with Fernandez now Ronaldo is there and Rashford looks lost. Oh well, there is always our game to get them charged up again 🙂

    The commentator did say that Pogba was recovering from his calf injury in Dubai and that Rangnick said that would not be happening under him. Says a bit about Ole maybe. I dont think Rangnick fancies him from some of his comments. He’ll be off and I think the only club that can afford him are PSG. That should be funny with his, Messi and Neymar’s egos all in the same team. Messi seems like a nice enough guy but he pretty much ran Barcelona.

    Didnt we let St Max go to France to recover? I am not sure I agree with that policy.

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  8. The BBC do a daily football podcast. Last night they only had 2 guests, Alex Bruce and Luke Edwards. Funny selection of guests as they were talking about Eddie Howe and moving NUFC forwards. Both were enthusiastic about that and were never pressed on whether Bruce had to go and the job he did. The only thing Alex really said was that his dad was hampered by injuries.

    It was all pretty pointless really but it does tell you that the BBC are still sucking up to Steve Bruce even now. I have no idea why. A lot of our players have basically said he was lazy and now we do proper training and they are fitter.

    Luke Edwards was extremely ebullient about the changes going on at NUFC talking up the City, the fans, the togetherness and Eddie Howe. He was almost giddy about how everything seemed to be coming together. Strange that! He was the biggest cheerleader for his Pal Steve so why wasnt Brucie able to do this with the same squad? Remember Bruce said it was his job to “keep things ticking over”. That was the extent of his ambition.

    I have no idea if Howe will get us out of the mess the Steves and a Graeme got us into but you can see the effort he is putting in.

    I am going for a draw at Leicester even though I think they will be knackered. Then we have 2 of the toughest games of the season. I hope the fans stick with Eddie even if we lose all 3.

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  9. I think we may see that Edwards was really just an opportunist, sucking up to Bruce to get the stories. He saw the way other journos were treated by the club and Bruce and thought he could get the scoops by being Bruce’s (fake?) friend. Now he is totally on board with Eddie.

    Next up, will we see Gabby Agbonlahor say Bruce was never that good really 🙂 How about The Dannys?

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  10. We have won 3 of our last 4 away to Leicester so hopefully we can continue but having said that Leicester have beaten us more times than any other PL team they have played ! Vardy is still a threat but they are very susceptible to headers this season, conceding 7 so far so corners are key today, Lascelles may get one or Wilson hopefully. Hope our midfield are on it today

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  11. Maddison makes it 4
    just f off
    joke of a team, really really disappointed with us today, should of got right down their throats and got as many free kicks and corners as possible by fair means or foul. We are too nice, about time we mastered the art of diving like every other b ugger does.

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  12. Back down to earth.

    Keep getting caught in possesion> hapened for at least 3 of the goals. Even the pen that shuld not have been.

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  13. Shelvey is a liability as is Lascelles. Lascelles is fine with old fashion teams like Burnley who play route one stuff but he never copes with teams who pass it around at the back on the ground, he will always give a pen away cause he is a poor defender in those situations. He should fair better in the championship though.

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  14. We have been poor but gifting them a soft pen and allowing them to go a goal up gave them huge momentum .

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  15. Wow that’s back to earth with a Big bang innit ??‍♂️?.

    Never a penalty from Lascelles – it’s a disgrace it was never overturned that – should have been a yellow for diving imo.

    Don’t think we played too badly. But fell apart in the final third – difference on the day – gulf in quality of the 2 sets of players.

    Not just a bad loss but a score line that could potentially put some of our January targets right off I reckon.

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  16. Well if evidence of corruption in the whole FA was needed then that’s it. VAR is meant to stop diving and poor poor decisions and Tom Daley would’ve been proud of that dive. Yet another bad decision against us. The FA want us down by whatever means possible.

    That said, our defence was non existent for the other three. A very bad day today. On top of that, the FIA gifted the F1 championship to Max Verstappen by totally going against the rules of the sport. Fuc.king sick today! ????????

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