Newcastle United vs. Leicester City
Venue: St. James’ Stadium
Kick off: 3:15PM
Leicester City face Newcastle United at St James’ Park this afternoon looking to extend their unbeaten record in the Premier League to four matches.
While the Foxes begin the next batch of fixtures in third position, the Magpies are down in 14th spot after four games without success.
After his side only recorded a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace earlier this week, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers inevitably received some criticism for his team selection.
However, the Northern Irishman was content with his decision to rotate his squad during a demanding schedule, something which he has been required to do through the club’s Europa League campaign.
On another day, the Foxes would have coasted to victory at Selhurst Park, but the East Midlands side still sit in third position despite squandering several opportunities against the Eagles.
Not for the first time this season, Harvey Barnes showed why he is now considered one of the most exciting English players in the Premier League, and he has now netted five times in all competitions since November 26.
Although Leicester need to find something extra in defence to keep pace with the top two, Rodgers will be confident that Barnes, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy can give the team an edge in the final third.
Since their scrappy 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion on December 12, Newcastle have only recorded two points from their last four top-flight fixtures.
With the defeat at Brentford in the EFL Cup quarter-finals added into the equation, Steve Bruce finds himself under pressure to keep his job at St James’ Park.
However, the defensive performance during the goalless draw with leaders Liverpool earlier this week highlighted why Bruce is unlikely to be replaced in the dugout in the near future.
While the club’s hierarchy would prefer to be sitting higher in the standings, holding an eight-point cushion above the relegation zone will be considered acceptable given the recent issues with positive coronavirus cases.
Newcastle United possible XI: Darlow, Yedlin, Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Ritchie, Murphy, Shelvey, Longstaff, Joelinton, Wilson.
Leicester City possible XI: Schmeichel, Justin, Evans, Fuchs, Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Castagne, Barnes, Perez, Vardy.