The final of the seven Premier League fixtures taking place today takes us to St James’ Park as Newcastle look for a much needed win after a run of results which has seen them pick up just one point from a possible 18. This nosedive in form has also seen Rafa Benitez’s men slide down the table as they start the weekend in 15th place with as many points as the 15 games that they have been played this season.
They seem to be having the opposite trajectory to their opponents this Evening who come in the shape of Leicester, since the decision to show Craig Shakespeare the exit door the Foxes have undoubtedly gone through a resurgence under new manager Claude Puel with his side now comfortably in the top half of the table.
Newcastle’s only point in their last six matches came at The Hawthorns two league fixtures ago, the Magpies plight may seem bad but the West Midlands outfit are at least worse off due to the simple fact that they have not won in their last 13 Premier League outings.
On current form Newcastle are bottom of the table if we look at the last six fixtures in isolation, that cannot make for good reading for fans on Tyneside as they look nervously over their shoulder while hoping that they finally get out of this current rut that they find themselves in at present.
Newcastle have not won any of their last six league matches and that is the fourth longest run without a win in the division. The last thing they need is an unlucky number seven while they could also do with conceding goals, they have shipped 12 goals in their last four matches.
That is something that Leicester will look to take advantage of as they come into this game having won successive home league outings while being unbeaten in their last three. Seven points from a possible nine has seen them take up ninth place in the Premier League table.
Claude Puel may not have got pulses racing when he took the Leicester job but he has certainly got this team firing on more cylinders as of late. It is fair to say that this is the closest they’ve looked to their title winners of 2015/16 as of late but even with that said they are still a fair way of off that fairy tale title winning campaign.
The win over Burnley last weekend was their first clean sheet in five league matches and they managed to shut out Sean Dyche’s men who would have been somewhat hamstrung by the fact that Robbie Brady had to be stretchered off and with that they lost one of their most creative players.
One of Leicester’s most creative players Rihad Mahrez made headlines not particularly because of his performance against the Clarets but due to the fact that he died his hair bleach blonde, he may be trying to put himself in the shop window with the January sales around the corner and he will certainly stand out in the weeks to come before the New Year.
For Leicester’s attacking endeavour this season they have been let down at times by their defending, although you could say that was more of a concern in the Shakespeare era. However the fact that they have scored 20 goals this season is undone by the fact that they have conceded the exact same amount at the other end.
But with Newcastle unable to buy a win at the moment and an apparent lack of regular firepower, something that Leicester certainly possess in the way of Jamie Vardy I think it will be that very person who will give the traveling Foxes the edge and allow them to leave Tyneside with all three points.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 8, 2017