Premier League Preview: Magpies Not Such Easy Prey for Foxes

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Leicester will attempt to edge closer to securing their spot in next season's Champions League when Newcastle come to town on Friday.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy

Eight points is all Leicester need from their remaining four matches to guarantee Champions League football for next season and a home clash with Newcastle seems like a good place to start their final push. The Magpies were woeful in last weekend’s loss to Arsenal, a result which means they still aren’t mathematically safe from the drop.

However, that was a rare bad performance from a Newcastle side that had been tricky to beat of late and they have the potential to make life hard for a Leicester side not firing on all cylinders right now.

Leicester Stumbling Over the Line

The Foxes endured a frustrating outing last Friday when being held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton away from home.

The Saints were reduced to 10-men early on in that game and the visitors found it tough to open up their well-drilled opponents.

With their final three league matches against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, this clash with the Tyneside outfit has taken on must-win status for a Leicester team that hasn’t always convinced with recent performances.

Leicester are strong 5/12 favourites to record what would be a third consecutive league victory over Newcastle, who are 27/4 to pull off the upset.

While the Foxes’ home form has been a little patchy, they have a good record against bottom eight opponents at the King Power Stadium, winning six of seven encounters this season.

Backing up Leicester’s chances of victory is the fact Newcastle have lost all six of their previous meetings with the Premier League’s current top four, conceding at least twice in all those games.

They did pick up a creditable draw at Anfield in their last away outing but Liverpool proved wasteful in front of goal that day and the Magpies might not get so lucky against Leicester.

The Foxes were too good for Steve Bruce and co in the reverse fixture earlier in the season but had to bide their time, grabbing both their goals after half-time in a 2-1 victory.

Needing to be patient has been a theme of Leicester’s season with 59 per cent of their goals coming after the break, while no other Premier League team has netted more times (20) in the final 15 minutes of games. Should this game follow the pattern of Leicester’s season then tie/Leicester in the half-time/full-time market at 59/20 appeals.

Scoring Reserved for Second Half

Leicester aren’t the only side who like to leave it late when it comes to finding the back of the net with Newcastle netting their highest amount of goals in the final 15 minutes. 66 per cent of their 36 goals this season have come after the interval and with a potential cagey first half on the cards, taking the second half to have the most goals at 20/21 makes sense.

Vardy and Wilson Keen to Get Back on Goal Trail

Hoping to bag those second-half goals for their respective teams will be Jamie Vardy and Callum Wilson. Vardy has found himself overshadowed by the excellent form of Kelechi Iheanacho in the second half of the season, the Nigerian scoring 14 times in his last 15 appearances. In contrast, Vardy has netted twice in his last 22 outings.

The 34-year-old dynamo will want to banish suggestions he could be in decline and has a good record against Newcastle having scored four times in his last five appearances against the north-east outfit.

Vardy is 6/5 to score anytime, while Wilson is 23/10 to add to the 10 goals he’s got this season. The former Bournemouth man has netted half of those goals away from St James’ Park and could have some joy against a Leicester side who have failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 of their last 15 outings.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Chris is broadcast and written journalist with a wealth of experience, across a number of different sports. As well covering football on the radio, he is a regular online and print contributor on the likes of rugby union, American Football and Formula One.

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