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Preview: Leicester City vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Newcastle United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Newcastle United will be looking to take a huge step towards securing Premier League survival when they head to the King Power Stadium to face top-four chasing Leicester City on Friday evening.

Leicester are currently third in the table, five points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham United, while Newcastle occupy 17th position, nine points clear of 18th-placed Fulham.

Match preview

Leicester City's Jonny Evans scores their first goal on April 30, 2021© Reuters

Leicester are still in a strong spot when it comes to securing a top-four finish, but the Foxes missed the chance to record a huge three points away to Southampton last time out.

Indeed, Jonny Evans cancelled out a penalty from James Ward-Prowse as the points were shared at St Mary's, and the result has left Brendan Rodgers's side looking over their shoulder at a vital stage of the campaign.

As it stands, Leicester are third in the table, two points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and five clear of fifth-placed West Ham. Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool will still believe that they are in the top-four argument, but both clubs have a lot of work to do to pull themselves into contention at this relatively late stage.

A win for the Foxes on Friday would be huge, particularly ahead of a tough period of games; they follow this match with a trip to second-placed Manchester United on May 12, before facing Chelsea in the FA Cup final and Premier League in the space of four days.

Rodgers's side will then finish their season at home to Tottenham on May 23, and it could either be an excellent 2020-21 campaign for the former English champions or a bitterly disappointing one if they were to lose the FA Cup final and drop out of the Champions League spots.

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates scoring against West Ham United in the Premier League on April 17, 2021© Reuters

Newcastle would not be mathematically safe on Friday evening with a victory, but it would allow them to move 12 points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, leaving the Cottagers needing to win each of their final four matches and hope that Steve Bruce's side lose their final three.

Fulham have only won five league games all campaign, though, meaning that a positive result at the King Power Stadium would all but guarantee that the Magpies will be in the 2021-22 Premier League.

Bruce's team put together a four-match unbeaten run between April 4 and April 24, beating Burnley and West Ham, in addition to drawing with Tottenham and Liverpool.

Last weekend's 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal was bitterly disappointing, though, particularly as the Gunners would have had more than one eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final with Villarreal.

Newcastle will finish the season with matches against Man City (H), Sheffield United (H) and Fulham (A), and the final game at Craven Cottage could yet be decisive if the Magpies lose their next three.

Leicester City Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Leicester City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Newcastle United Premier League form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Harvey Barnes in action for Leicester City on February 21, 2021© Reuters

Leicester will again be without the services of James Justin and Harvey Barnes due to long-term knee injuries, while Wes Morgan is also expected to miss out with a back issue.

Having had a week to prepare for this match, Rodgers is unlikely to cause any surprise with his team selection, meaning that James Maddison should again support Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy in attack.

The back three and midfield two will also remain in place, but there could be a change at wing-back, with Ricardo Pereira potentially coming in for Luke Thomas, which would see Timothy Castagne switch sides.

Evans had emerged as a doubt with the foot problem that he has been battling in recent weeks, but the Northern Ireland international should be passed fit.

As for Newcastle, Fabian Schar is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Arsenal last weekend, while Isaac Hayden, Jamaal Lascelles, Karl Darlow and Ryan Fraser are all still injured.

Head coach Bruce is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack from the defeat to Mikel Arteta's side as the Magpies had been on an impressive run ahead of the clash with the Gunners.

As a result, a 3-5-2 formation should again see Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie line up in the wing-back positions, with fit-again duo Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin operating in the final third of the field.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu; Pereira, Ndidi, Tielemans, Castagne; Maddison; Iheanacho, Vardy

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Fernandez, Clark, Dummett; Murphy, Almiron, Shelvey, Longstaff, Ritchie; Wilson, Saint-Maximin

SM words green background

We say: Leicester City 2-1 Newcastle United

This is a potentially very tricky match for Leicester, who will be determined to bounce back from the draw with Southampton. Newcastle are certainly better than their league position suggests, but Bruce's side were disappointing against Arsenal, and we fancy the hosts to edge out a huge three points on Friday night.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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