Match Preview – Leicester City vs Newcastle United

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton FC at St. James Park on March 09, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Leicester City and Newcastle United meet at the KingPower Stadium in a game that may determine where both end up this season.

Brendan Rodgers’ arrival at Leicester has caused an upturn in form that has seen them rise the table and enter the mix for a top seven finish.

They currently sit in the coveted position with seven points but could open up a three-point gap on their rivals by playing ahead of them.

Newcastle, meanwhile, need a victory to ensure they don’t get dragged into the relegation fight.

The Magpies are currently 15th in the table and five points outside the relegation zone but will be feeling the pressure following defeat to Crystal Palace.

A win over the Foxes would take them further clear of the logjam at the bottom and almost ensure they spend next year in the Premier League.

Team News

Harry Maguire is likely to return to the Leicester City starting line up after being rested for their last game. Fellow defender Johnny Evans is also fit after overcoming a hip injury.

The most significant boost for the Foxes is the fitness of Jamie Vardy, who has shaken off a groin problem to ensure he’s fit in this game. Marc Albrighton and Daniel Amartey will miss the game, though.

Newcastle have no new injury concerns ahead of their trip to the KingPower. Florian Lejeune is out for the rest of the season after picking up a serious knee injury in the loss to Crystal Palace.

He joins Sean Longstaff on the long-term absentee list, although Mo Diame is expected to return from a muscle strain.

What the managers said

Watford FC v Leicester City - Premier League
WATFORD, ENGLAND – MARCH 03: Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

With his side looking to secure seventh-placed this season, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes his team are at a disadvantage at this stage.

“While you’re playing well you claim the points, but others will still have an advantage with the games to play,” he said.

CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 21: Neil Warnock, Manager of Cardiff City reacts during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Liverpool FC at Cardiff City Stadium on April 21, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Neil Warnock: Mohamed Salah is a diver

The Cardiff City manager is frustrated after the Liverpool winger won a penalty during today's English Premier League match.

“[European qualification] wasn’t something that we thought about coming in. The job is to get through to the end of the season, building a base for the summer.

“We want to entertain the supporters, they have to want to come to the stadium and be happy with what they’ve seen. We’re building towards that.”

AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United - Premier League
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – MARCH 16: Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Rafa Benitez, meanwhile, says his side have to treat their last five games like finals to ensure they are well away from the relegation battle.

“Now we have five games, and we have to think of every one like a final, as we have said many times,” he said.

“We must approach every game with confidence, calm, and the belief that we can do it.

“[Leicester] are a very good team. They are playing with more confidence now, and it will be tough for us, for sure.”

Stats

The history books are against Newcastle in this one. Leicester have won six of their last seven meetings with the Magpies.

Similarly, Newcastle have failed to pick up a win in their last eight matches away from home.

A win here, though, would mean they have beaten Leicester in consecutive away games for the first time since 1959.

Not that either of these sides are good on a Friday. Leicester have played more games than anyone else on this day without winning. No team have lost more games on Friday than Newcastle.

Jamie Vardy is the man to watch. He’s had a hand in four goals in five games and currently accounts for 50% of the goals Leicester have scored under Brendan Rodgers.