These two teams have been at polar opposites in terms of performance, attitude and results this season, with there being an incredible 36-points separating the two of them going into this match. It’s not difficult to understand why the natives are restless at St James’ Park.
Leicester City go into the weekend games knowing that, whatever the results, they will remain top of the table after Monday’s game. They will also have the benefit of facing Newcastle already knowing how Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City fared away to Aston Villa and Norwich City respectively over the weekend.
The Foxes continue to defy the doubters in this Premier League battle and they’ve even bounced back following the occasional stumble of late. The 1-0 win at home to Norwich City wasn’t the most convincing and they followed that with a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion in which they were also below their best. Last week’s 1-0 win at Watford was hugely impressive though.
By contrast, Newcastle’s performance in the 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth last weekend was totally unacceptable, particularly given what was at stake against a team that were (until then) genuine relegation rivals.
Manager Steve McClaren has now been shown the door in the aftermath of that defeat and Rafa Benitez has been quickly brought in to try and save Newcastle’s season.
Newcastle’s problems go beyond just one game of course. The squad looks unbalanced despite the hefty expenditure, injuries have been a concern all season and McClaren always looked like the wrong appointment. Their away form is also little short of abject, with just seven points and seven goals scored from 14 games on the road.
With a new manager to impress, it’s difficult to believe that Newcastle won’t improve on last week’s performance, but there is so much wrong with the club at present that you can’t have a great deal of faith in them. Defensively they are a shambles and they look ill-equipped to deal with Leicester’s pace and directness.
Taking everything into consideration, it’s difficult to see beyond a Leicester win and the 8/13 available with Paddy Power for them to do so is well worth snapping up.