MX23RW : Saturday, February 16 16:11:55
Nov 21, 2015 at 3pm UK at ​St James' Park
Attendance: 50,151
NewcastleNewcastle United
LeicesterLeicester City
FT(HT: 0-1)
Vardy (45'), Ulloa (62'), Okazaki (83')

Preview: Newcastle United vs. Leicester City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League action as hosts Newcastle United welcome in-form visitors Leicester City to St James' Park.

Newcastle United welcome the visit of in-form Leicester City to St James' Park in the Premier League on Saturday, as Steve McClaren's side aim to build on a two-game unbeaten run.

As for travelling Leicester, Claudio Ranieri's charges have lost just once all season, and are currently unbeaten in five league contests.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United's English head coach Steve McClaren watches his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Newcastle United at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on November 7, 2© Getty Images

Magpies boss McClaren did not enjoy the best of starts to life at Newcastle, having led his side on a winless run throughout the first eight games of the new Premier League season.

Those opening fixtures saw United fall to as many as five defeats, but since the midpoint of October the club's new coach seems to finally be getting a grip on the task at hand.

Newcastle were able to pick up their first league win against Norwich City, whom they dismantled 6-2 at home thanks to a standout hat-trick from midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

That result was followed by a frustrating defeat in the Tyne–Wear derby away at Sunderland, although since then McClaren and company are undefeated after drawing with Stoke City and beating Bournemouth.

What will be encouraging for Newcastle fans is that the club have not conceded in their last two Premier League fixtures, but the fact that they have scored just one goal since the mauling of Norwich will be a slight cause for concern.

Leicester at home will still provide a tough ask for United, but should they be able to get past Ranieri and his men they would be grabbing some important points, given that both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur wait in the wings later in November.

Recent form: DLWLDW

Leicester City

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City scores his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Watford at The King Power Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Leicester, England.© Getty Images

Some Premier League viewers might have thought that Leicester's formidable form would begin to fade away come the winter months, but after 12 league games Ranieri's side are still going strong.

Along with Spurs, Leicester are the only side in the league to have lost just one game all season, having also picked up seven wins and four draws.

Many of those games have been impacted by an impressive second wind from City, who have scored 72% of their goals in the second halves of matches - a statistic that stands up as the highest in the league.

Ranieri has benefited from the remarkable form of frontman Jamie Vardy, who has marched forward on a nine-game scoring streak. Another goal this weekend would make the 28-year-old only the second player to score in 10 consecutive games in the Premier League alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The Foxes are undefeated in five league fixtures since losing at Arsenal in September and have managed to pick up 13 points from the 15 on offer in recent matches.

Ranieri will be wary that he has Manchester United to come in the game after this one, before travelling to Swansea City and also welcoming Chelsea, leaving the coach aware that the trip to St James' Park seems like the simplest way of picking up points in the coming weeks.

Recent form: LWDWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDWLWW

Team News

Ngolo Kante (2nd L) of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Danny Drinkwater (1st L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Watford at The King Power Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Leicest© Getty Images

McClaren is still dealing with six long-term injuries in his squad, but he will be hopeful that Robert Elliot and Massadio Haidara could come back into the fold at the weekend.

Given the club's last success at Bournemouth, it appears likely that Newcastle could name an unchanged side from that victory, leaving Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez up top.

As for the visitors, Vardy should be back in action after missing England's friendlies with an injury, as he looks to continue his strong form in front of goal.

International fixtures have perhaps left the likes of Andrej Kramaric, Wes Morgan and Shinji Okazaki fatigued, while Yohan Benalouane is waiting to make his first starting appearance of the season should he be required.

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Elliot; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Wijnaldum, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko; Perez, Mitrovic

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Simpson, Huth, Benalouane, Fuchs; Schlupp, Kante, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Mahrez; Vardy

Head To Head

Newcastle hold a slight advantage when looking at the sides' recent competitive history. Over the past six meetings in all competitions, the Magpies have won three, drawn one and lost two. However, Leicester are on a two-game winning streak against Newcastle, having beaten them at the King Power Stadium in the league last season in order to build on from a victory in the FA Cup too.

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We say: Newcastle United 1-2 Leicester City

Newcastle are unbeaten in their last two fixtures, but they are coming up against a Leicester side who have lost just one game all season long in the league. The Magpies have really struggled for goals in recent weeks and that could be a problem when facing up against a Leicester side who will be confident of at least scoring one away from home. Vardy's potential to match Van Nistelrooy's record certainly adds an extra dimension to proceedings, which the visitors could steal by a single goal.

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Jamie Vardy of Leicester City in action during the pre season friendly match between Mansfield Town and Leicester City at the One Call Stadium on July 25, 2015
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