Leicester City v Newcastle United

13 Mar

Leicester players celebrate a goal


TEAM NEWS

Leicester have no new injury problems, with Riyad Mahrez declared fit to play.

The Algerian winger has shaken off the hamstring strain that he picked up in the win over Watford last weekend.

New Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez will assess the fitness of Fabricio Coloccini and Andros Townsend, who have been nursing respective calf and hamstring problems.

Left-back Paul Dummett misses out after aggravating a hamstring injury.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Conor McNamara: “Rafa Benitez’ tenure at Newcastle begins with his feet on separate tectonic plates.

“There is a crack in the crust below as relegation threatens to drag the club down.

“The King Power Stadium – epicentre of the recent “Leicester Earthquake” – has been a zone of induced seismic activity all season. Benitez’ first game in charge is against a team that has become a force of nature.

“Leicester City could be 810 Premier League minutes away from footballing immortality.

“Of course the tremors aren’t always predicted. Incredibly, at this stage last year Leicester had five points fewer than Newcastle do now.”

Twitter: @ConorMcNamaraIE

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri: “The league this year is crazy. We are fighting because it’s a crazy league and anything could happen.

“I said there were five games (before the international break this month) and then I can say what we can do. Now I am focused on Newcastle. The three points are very important for us.”

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: “We need to give confidence to our players, to organise the team in the way that we want to do things, and I think we can do it.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Leicester have got an air about them that says they think they can win the league.

They have continued to pick up points without playing well and results have been going their way, which will help convince their players they can do it.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v boxer Carl Frampton

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Newcastle players<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Leicester are looking for a third consecutive win over Newcastle. The previous two have been by 3-0 scorelines.
  • The Foxes haven’t done the double over Newcastle since the 1974-75 campaign, despite being in the same division in 24 different seasons since then.

Leicester City

  • Leicester have lost just one of their last 17 league games at the King Power Stadium (W11, D5).
  • The Foxes have kept a clean sheet in five of their last six Premier League home matches. The exception was the 2-2 draw against West Brom in their last home game.
  • Riyad Mahrez has been involved in a league-high 26 Premier League goals this season (15 goals, 11 assists). He is the only player to be in double figures for both.

Newcastle

  • Newcastle have lost three successive league games. They haven’t lost four in a row so far this season.
  • They have lost 17 of their last 21 Premier League away matches.
  • The Magpies have scored just eight goals in their last 20 Premier League away games, failing to score in 13 of these matches.
  • Newcastle have lost their last eight matches played on a Monday, which were all away from home. They have failed to score in the last five of these.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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