Despite a difficult season and occupying the lower spot in the league, Nigel Pearson’s Leicester City probably head into this important game as the favourites for victory. Leicester had won four on the bounce before their midweek defeat to Champions-elect Chelsea but even in defeat Leicester could be proud of their performance especially after taking the lead before half time.
Newcastle on the other hand have absolutely nothing to be proud about. The Magpies look lifeless and appear to be desperate for the season to end. However, Newcastle should be safe from any relegation trouble with five points separating them from 18th-placed North East rivals Sunderland.
Jeff Schlupp and David Nugent should both be ready for their returns after recovering from calf injuries. Robert Huth is a doubt with a knee injury alongside Andy King who has also has a knock.
Newcastle currently hold the crown for most injury ravaged squad with up to eight players missing for this weekend’s clash.
Daryl Janmaat (illness) and Paul Dummett (knee) should both be back in contention whilst Rolando Aarons may need another week to fully recover from his hamstring strain. Rob Elliott should miss out with his thigh problem whilst Massadio Haidara and Jak Alnwick could be out the season. Cheik Tiote is another doubt for the remaining games whilst centre-back Stephen Taylor is definitely out until next season.
- Newcastle have won five and lost none of their last nine Premier League matches against Leicester.
- The Magpies are unbeaten in their last five away league games against the Foxes (W1, D4). The last four meetings in Leicester have ended in draws.
- Newcastle have scored a divisional high 69% of their goals in the second half of games this season.
- The Magpies have lost seven successive league games for only the second time in their history (their worst run was 10 in a row from August to October to 1977).
- Only Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea (13 each) have picked up more points in their last five games than Leicester (12).
Cambiasso is thoroughly enjoying life in the Premier League and the former Argentina international has turned in a consistent season at the heart of Leicester’s defence. The former Inter Milan man has used all his experience to ensure that Leicester have a chance at survival as we enter squeaky bum time.
Cambiasso, like Leicester, has produced his best form at just the right time and his experienced performance against Chelsea was disciplined and oozed class. Looking at the whole season, Cambiasso has battled well at the heart of the Foxes midfield with the World Cup goalscorer winning 50.82% of his aerial duels. Cambiasso has also used his experience well when positioning himself around the pitch with the midfielder averaging 2.63 interceptions per 90 minutes played (p90). Cambiasso is also yet to make a defensive error which shows his concentration and focus are yet to dip despite his age and the relative size of the club he now plays for – a true professional.
Perez hasn’t quite had the impact upon Newcastle’s season that many had hoped upon his exciting arrival. The young attacking starlet is a talent to be sure but his first season at Newcastle has proved that time should always be given to new players who are just settling in.
Nevertheless, Perez has shown promise in his first season and has created over a chance p90. The young man has also shown good technique with 52% of his shots hitting the target. Goalscoring-wise Perez could and will improve with 0.25 averaged p90, which is of course an average of one in four full games. Perez’s agility is also something which shows promise with the prospect completing 46.02% of his attempted take-ons.
My prediction for this one is simply a Leicester win. Newcastle are just in disarray at the moment and the players seem to be on holiday already. I’ll go Leicester 2-0.