Monday night sees an enormous game at both ends of the table take place at Newcastle United host Leicester City at St. James’ Park.
For Newcastle, the game represents an opportunity to seal Champions League Group Stage football for the first time since 2002-03 and would represent remarkable progress in their first full season under new ownership. Leicester City know all about hitting those heights but their immediate concern is avoiding relegation back to the Championship after a disastrous campaign.
Games like this can be perfect for a bet builder with the atmosphere both electric and tense and players on both sides needing to play at full capacity at such an important time. It’s a good job that we’ve have you covered with a Stats Pack Guide – you can click here for more information on how best to use the guide to build your own bet builder or continue reading on to learn our Newcastle vs Leicester bet builder tips.
NEWCASTLE VS LEICESTER Confirmed LINEUPS
Anderson in line for start amid injuries
Eddie Howe has shown faith in his squad all season when they need to be called upon and that faith is likely to be shown again here with Elliot Anderson in line for his second ever league start in a breakthrough campaign. The young midfielder replaced the injured Joe Willock on Thursday and with Sean Longstaff and Jacob Murphy still out injured, Anderson is expected to get the nod.
Smith banking on experience as he looks for improvement
Dean Smith hasn’t had the easiest time of things at Leicester but the return of Jonny Evans could be a key moment for their season, the Northern Ireland centre-back starting for the first time this calendar year against Liverpool last time out. With various players still injured, Smith is likely to stick with the same XI as he banks on the experience of players such as Evans and Vardy to drag his team to safety.
NEWCASTLE VS LEICESTER TEAM STATS
Defensive solidity the name of the game for Newcastle
Newcastle’s rise this season has been built on an experienced and solid defensive core, leading from the back superbly – no team has conceded fewer goals than the Magpies, who also have the second best xG against. They have also improved their attacking output in recent weeks, almost matching their excellent xG for numbers.
Newcastle’s blood and thunder approach to the game has seen them register more corner kicks than any other team in the division and also draw the third most cards from opponents.
Leicester having huge issues defensively
Where their opponents are thriving, Leicester are struggling. The Foxes have conceded the third most shots, fifth most on target, fifth highest xG against and fourth most goals, underachieving their xG by 0.21 per game.
Leicester’s preference for a possession / transitional style hasn’t helped their corner numbers – only one team has taken fewer corners while they’ve conceded more than all but three other Premier League sides.
NEWCASTLE VS LEICESTER SHOTS AND SHOTS ON TARGET STATS
Fabian something of a Schar thing for Newcastle
Callum Wilson has had tough competition for Alexander Isak this season but continues to lead the line with distinction, having a shot on target in eight of his ten starts since the World Cup break, failing to hit the target against the top two. If you fancy a long shot, Fabian Schar is available at 2.1 to have a shot on target – the Swiss defender has had a shot in 24 of his 34 Premier League matches and has mustered a shot on target in each of his last three.
Leicester’s Harvey trying to hit the Barnes door
Other players have tended to grab the headlines for Leicester City but Harvey Barnes has been a continual presence in their starting XI. The winger is doing his utmost to improve thing, attempting at least three shots in five of his last eight appearances. Dean Smith has reinstated Jamie Vardy as his leading man since taking over and the striker is trying to repay that faith with a shot on target in his last four appearances.
NEWCASTLE VS LEICESTER GOALS AND ASSISTS STATS
Wilson the leading man for Newcastle
Callum Wilson and Eddie Howe worked brilliantly together at Bournemouth and they have picked up where they left off, Wilson averaging 0.9 goals per 90 minutes in a Newcastle shirt this season. He is facing stiff competition as far as the long-term is considered with Alexander Isak stepping up to the mark with two goals every three games on average.
Maddison numbers remain high despite Leicester difficulties
It’s not been a pleasant campaign for Leicester but two players have at least stepped up and can hold their heads high. James Maddison has long been considered the Foxes’ main man and he has reached 19 goal contributions, an impressive effort that earned him an England call up. Barnes is less creative but proving a fine finisher, scoring four goals in his last eight appearances.
NEWCASTLE VS LEICESTER PLAYER PASSING STATS
Trippier building attacks for Newcastle
Newcastle have gradually improved in their use of possession this season and one of the key reasons for that is experienced full-back Kieran Trippier. He has averaged just over 50 passes over the course of the season but that improved massively in recent weeks and makes him a good option for your Newcastle vs Leicester bet builder. The England international has attempted over 70 passes in nine of his last 11 appearances and 65 in 69 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur.
Leicester likely to see less of the ball under Smith
Leicester are going away from home to a Champions League outfit so they were always likely to see less of the ball. That is especially under Dean Smith, who is doing his best to organise his team rather than expect them to dominate the ball week after week. It means that while Jonny Evans is averaging just shy of 70 passes per 90 minutes played, the chances of him doing that here are unlikely – he managed just 40 against Liverpool at home.
NEWCASTLE CARDS AND FOULS STATS
Joelinton loves a tackle
Newacstle’s game is all about their defensive organisation, carried out via a structured high press and Joelinton is key to that, the Brazilian always sharp out of the blocks. He has committed a foul in 28 of his 30 league starts, two or more in 16 and forced the referee’s whistle to his lips on an impressive eight occasions against Brighton. His compatriot and fellow midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is no angel, committing two or more fouls in three of his last four starts.
Those two are going to be heavily involved as they look to stop Leicester playing in the final third through Harvey Barnes (fouled in last seven matches), James Maddison (fouled 22 times in five matches under Smith) and Tielemans (fouled nine times in five matches), all of whom have been fouled over an average of once per 90 minutes and two of whom commit to over three dribbles per 90.
Joelinton vs Boubakary Soumare
Bruno Guimaraes vs Youri Tielemans
Dan Burn vs James Maddison
LEICESTER CARDS AND FOULS STATS
Maddison frustration showing
James Maddison is known as a technically gifted footballer but he isn’t afraid to do the dirty stuff, collecting yellow cards into double figures and committing over a foul per 90. That hasn’t changed recently, the England man committing a foul in each of his last eight appearances. He isn’t quite as bad as Boubakary Soumare who has committed two or more fouls in four of his last five matches.
As above, their willingness to commit a foul leads into what should be a feisty encounter in the centre of the pitch. Bruno Guimaraes is one of the most fouled players in the Premier League and those numbers aren’t slowing down – the Brazilian midfielder has been fouled three or more times in six of his last eight starts. Callum Wilson leads the Newcastle line with distinction and is happy to take the knocks – he has been fouled two or more times in four of his last six appearances.
Boubakary Soumare vs Joelinton
Youri Tielemans vs Bruno Guimaraes
Wout Faes vs Callum Wilson