by Ian S. Palmer
League-leading Leicester City will be hosting lowly Newcastle United in the final English Premier League match of the weekend when they face off at the King Power Stadium in Leicester on Monday, March 14. Leicester has been in the headlines all season long for leading the league as huge underdogs while Newcastle has been dreadful and sit in 19th place in the 20-team league. In addition, Newcastle just fired former England manager Steve McClaren and replaced him with former Liverpool and Real Madrid failure Rafael Benitez of Spain.
- Pinnacle currently lists Leicester as the favorites at -162 with Newcastle +492 and a draw at +329
Leicester City vs Newcastle United – Head to Head:
- The two sides met at St. James’ Park back on November 21 with Leicester winning 3-0. Leicester also won 3-0 at home last season, but were beaten 1-0 in Newcastle. The squads also met in the FA Cup in January of 2015 with Newcastle winning 1-0 at Leicester. Overall, the teams have met 119 times in the past with Newcastle winning 51, losing 41 and drawing the other 27. Leicester has won three in a row, but they’re the only three victories in their past 12 meetings.
Leicester enters the weekend with 60 points from 17 wins, nine draws and just three losses on the season. They’ve scored a league-high 52 goals and allowed 31 against. At home, Leicester has eight victories, five draws and a lone defeat with 24 goals for and 15 conceded. They’ve kept six clean sheets at home and have been shut out twice. Overall, they’ve recorded 10 clean sheets and have failed to score on three occasions. Leicester has three wins and three draws in their past six home games with five of them being shut outs.
Newcastle has 24 points on the year after 28 games with six wins, six draws and 16 losses. They’ve scored 28 times and allowed 53 goals against. The team has won just twice on its travels this season to go along with a draw and 11 defeats. They’ve managed just seven goals away from home and have conceded 32. Newcastle has a pair of clean sheets on the road and has been shut out eight times. Overall, they have recorded five clean sheets and have failed to score in a dozen of their contests. Newcastle has lost six straight on the road with just two goals for and have been shut out in four of those fixtures.
Leicester enters the weekend with a five-point lead over second place Tottenham Hotspur. They were eight ahead of Arsenal, 10 up on fourth-place Manchester City and 11 ahead of fifth-place West Ham. Newcastle is just one point behind 17th-place Sunderland and out of the relegation zone. It’s no surprise that the club has sacked McCLaren, but replacing him with Rafael Benitez is another step backwards. Benitez now has 10 games and 30 available points to try to keep the club afloat in the Premier League for at least one more season.
Newcastle will likely be without the injured Paul Dummett, Andros Townsend, Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini, Cheick Tiote, Chancel Mbemba, Kevin Mbabu, Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan and Curtis Good. However, don’t be surprised if two or three of these players are in the lineup. The only injury listed for Leicester is Matthew James.
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