Leicester City v Newcastle United Cheat Sheet
Leicester City v Newcastle United
Things were looking ominous for Leicester and Brendan Rodgers earlier in the season but 4 wins in 5 matches have seen them move up to 13th.
The Foxes have conceded just one goal in their last 8 matches in all competitions and there has been a huge improvement. However, 2 of those matches came against lower league opposition in the League Cup and another 6 were against teams in the bottom half of the table. They conceded in the match against Man City.
Newcastle have lost just once in the league this season. They were narrowly beaten by a very late goal at Anfield. They are currently in 3rd place and will be looking to continue their good form on Boxing Day.
The Saudi regime has injected a new lease of life into Newcastle and there is a feel-good atmosphere around the place. Champions League qualification would represent a monumental success for the club so soon after the takeover.
This clash should be an entertaining one but it’s difficult to know whether we will see a lot of goals. Newcastle’s last 5 away matches have seen an average of 3.2 goals per game. While Leicester’s last 5 home matches are averaging 2.2 goals and one side has kept a clean sheet in all of them. I expect Newcastle to come out on top here. Leicester’s resurgence has been aided by the quality of opposition and Newcastle have the quality to win this.
Newcastle won their last 5 league matches before the World Cup break. They have won 7 of their last 8 league matches.
The Magpies have won 3 of their last 5 matches at the King Power; which is surprising considering Leicester have been the stronger side in recent seasons. Eddie Howe’s men look a much better team this season. They headed to Saudi Arabia for warm weather training as the World Cup played out. Trippier and Guimaraes also featured in the EFL Cup so expect them to start on Monday.
Just 2 of Leicester’s 5 league wins this season have come at home. Many of the supporters lost patience with Rodgers when the team were at their lowest. The Foxes may not be out of the woods just yet.
Tielemans returned to the Leicester team against MK Dons after featuring for Belgium in Qatar. He found the net and played the full 90 minutes.
The midfielder has 3 goals in his last 5 starts for Leicester and is set to start as one of the more advanced midfielders against Newcastle. Soumare has given Tielemans the freedom to venture forward by operating as the defensive midfielder. Youri has had a shot on target in his last 5 starts for the Foxes.
Newcastle have also been conceding a lot of shots on the road. Their opponents have been averaging 13.86 shots per game. This jumps to 15.67 if you exclude the trip to Craven Cottage, where Fulham had just 3 shots.
Bruno was largely overlooked by Tite as Brazil flattered to deceive in Qatar. The tireless midfielder returned to his role at the heart of the Newcastle midfield against Bournemouth and put in a solid display. He managed 2 shots on target as his team won 1-0.
Newcastle’s last league game was a win over Chelsea. Bruno had 2 shots that were blocked by the Chelsea defence in that game. Both of them were bound for goal. Guimaraes scored in the penultimate league match before the break against Southampton.
I expect him to have a couple of opportunities to pull the trigger against a Leicester side that have been fairly shaky at the back this season. They are conceding 13.27 shots per game in the league; the 7th most in the league.
Callum Wilson featured for England twice from the bench at the World Cup. He should relish returning to his role as the starting number 9. He had 4 shots in his team’s win over Bournemouth. The striker also had 5 shots in his last start for Newcastle where he remained on the pitch for more than 45 minutes (a 4-0 win over Aston Villa).
It shouldn’t come as a shock that he leads the Cheat Sheet shooting stats for Newcastle, as Wilson is averaging 3.2 shots per 90 minutes this season and is set to lead the line on Boxing Day.
In Leicester’s last 5 league matches, 3 of the opposition’s starting strikers have had 3 shots or more. The exceptions were Julian Alvarez, who was substituted after 77 minutes, and Patrick Bamford, who was substituted after 65 minutes.
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