Preview: Newcastle United vs. Leicester City

Preview: Newcastle vs. Leicester
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Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Newcastle and Leicester as under-fire Magpies boss Alan Pardew desperately seeks a first win of the season.

Alan Pardew has survived the international break to take charge of Newcastle United when they host Leicester City in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon.

The under-fire Magpies manager had been tipped for the sack before the visit of the Foxes to St James' Park, with his side still winless in the top flight this term.

Come-from-behind draws with Hull City and Swansea City in the last month, thanks on each occasion to doubles from Papiss Cisse, suggest that Pardew maintains the support of the dressing room, and captain Fabricio Coloccini indicated as much this week.

The Toon Army grow impatient, though, as they demand improved results from a team who have won just five of 27 Premier League matches during 2014 and occupy a place in the relegation zone.

In contrast, Leicester fans have seen their side win at Stoke City and humble Manchester United 5-3 upon their return to the big time, and sit in the safe regions of 12th in the table.

Their early-season form has suggested that the Midlanders have what it takes to leave the Championship behind them, but conceding a 98th-minute equaliser to Burnley may have haunted them over the internationals.

Nigel Pearson could recall Esteban Cambiasso after the decorated Argentine missed the draw with the Clarets through injury, with Danny Drinkwater or Jeffrey Schlupp most likely to be sacrificed.

Former England international defender Matthew Upson is Leicester's only injury absentee and has yet to play since joining the King Power Stadium outfit on a free transfer from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Jamie Vardy should again keep David Nugent out of the starting XI as partner to Leonardo Ulloa, whose five strikes in seven games will come at the envy of Newcastle's goalless frontman Emmanuel Riviere.

Riviere is likely to find himself on the bench on Tyneside considering the recent form of Cisse, who Geordie hero and Magpies record scorer Alan Shearer has tipped to fire the club up the league.

Another French summer recruit, Remy Cabella, may be recalled, though, at the expense of either Gabriel Obertan or Yoan Gouffran, with Pardew determined to give the talented playmaker a run in the team.

Siem de Jong, Davide Santon, Rolando Aarons, Ryan Taylor and Adam Campbell are all sidelined for the Magpies, but Tim Krul should overcome the "very minor" elbow injury suffered in Dutch training to start in goal.

Newcastle have not lost to Leicester since Tony Cottee and Robbie Savage condemned them to a 2-0 defeat in 2000.

Recent form

Newcastle: DLDDLD

Leicester: DLWWDL

Possible starting lineups

Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Tiote, Colback; Cabella, Sissoko, Obertan; Cisse

Leicester: Schmeichel; De Laet, Moore, Morgan, Konchesky; Mahrez, Cambiasso, Hammond, Schlupp; Vardy, Ulloa

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Who will win Saturday's match between Newcastle and Leicester at St James' Park?

Newcastle
Leicester
Draw
Newcastle
57.5%
Leicester
31.5%
Draw
11.0%
Alan Pardew, manager of Newcastle United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park on August 30, 2014
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2Manchester UnitedMan Utd86202121920
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Watford84311313015
5Chelsea8413138513
6Arsenal84131210213
7Burnley834186213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle832398111
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom824279-210
11Southampton823379-29
12Huddersfield TownHuddersfield823359-49
13Swansea CitySwansea822458-38
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224610-48
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8224814-68
16Everton8224513-88
17Stoke CityStoke8224918-98
18Leicester CityLeicester81341013-36
19Bournemouth8116412-84
20Crystal Palace8107218-163