Newcastle United visits Leicester City at King Power Stadium on the NBC Sports Network at 3 PM ET in a battle between two teams with much still at stake this season.
Leicester City controls its destiny to secure a spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League. The Foxes are in 3rd place in the English Premier League table with 63 points. They are two points ahead of Chelsea and five points ahead of West Ham United to stay in the top four. They trail Manchester United by four points (with the Red Devils having a game in hand) for second place, and they are distant 17 points behind first-place Manchester City at the top of the table.
The Foxes come off 1-1 draw at Southampton last Friday. They fell behind after the Saints converted a penalty kick 61 minutes into the match. Jonny Evans leveled the score seven minutes later. The result was a disappointment for manager Brendan Rodgers considering that his team played with a man advantage for 80 minutes after Southampton was issued a red card 10 minutes into the match.
Rodgers’ team remains unbeaten in their last four matches across all competitions. Kelechi Iheanacho has jumpstarted the attack with ten goals in his last nine games. Jamie Vardy leads the team with 13 goals. James Maddison is back in the starting XI after being suspended by the team last month for breaking COVID quarantine protocols. Injuries will keep midfielder Harvey Barnes and defenders James Justin and Wes Morgan off the pitch.
Leicester City has a challenging league schedule to close out the season with upcoming matches against Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham. They also have an impending showdown at Wembley Stadium with Chelsea for the FA Cup title on May 15th in their first attempt to win that trophy in 52 years.
Newcastle was unbeaten in their last four matches before a 2-0 loss at home against Arsenal on Sunday. The Magpies fell behind in the sixth minute before conceding the second goal 21 minutes into the second half. Defender Fabian Schar got issued a red card in the 90th minute, suspending him from this match.
Manager Steve Bruce has his team nine points clear of relegation with their nine-point lead over Fulham for 17th place in the league table. The return of attackers Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin to the team from the doctor’s table has helped in Newcastle’s recent improved form. They had scored in four straight league matches before getting blanked by the Gunners. Wilson has ten goals and six assists this season, and Saint-Maximin has added three goals and five assists from the midfield.
The Magpies host Manchester City at St. James Park next Friday before two teams at the bottom of the table in Sheffield United and Fulham.
Leicester City won the reverse fixture at St. James Park by a 2-1 score on January 3rd. Maddison and Youri Tielmans scored in the section half to give the Foxes the lead before Andy Carroll cut the margin in half with just eight minutes left in the match.
BetOnline lists Leicester City as a -1.5 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.75.
Computer prediction: Leicester City 2 Newcastle United 0