Newcastle United v Leicester City: Premier League – live | Premier League

Key events

Nobby Solano is at the ground tonight. I had completely forgotten that the Peruvian also played for Leicester.

Assuming that Newcastle do make the top four, it will be fascinating to see what moves they make in the transfer market. Will Eddie Howe stick with the players that have brought Champions League football back to St James’ Park? Probably not.

This is tonight’s squad:

Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson, Isak.
Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Gordon, Saint-Maximin, Lewis, Targett, Murphy, Anderson, Miley.

It would not be a surprise to see, with a few exceptions (Pope, Trippier, Guimaraes, Botman, Isak) the starting XI become next season’s bench, the bench sold to fund this summer’s signings.

Dean Smith features heavily here.

Dean Smith speaks!

We need to be harder to beat. The last few games we’re trying to win, but watching Newcastle’s last few games, they are so strong from set pieces and we wanted an extra centre back [Souttar]. The lads [Maddison and Barnes] are disappointed but I’d expect them to be. They see the bigger picture here.

What’s interesting from those quotes is that Smith is not going all out for the win. A draw here tonight means Leicester would stay up with win over West Ham on the last day if Everton fail to beat Bournemouth.

Certainly the first part of that equation – Leicester beating West Ham – seems very likely. Despite Leicester’s woeful form, West Ham have a European final to prepare for on 7 June, and it would not be a shock to see David Moyes rest a few key faces. Also, there will be a few West Ham players that will want to avoid injury, with such an important game to come.

A lot of ifs/buts/maybes, there. But I think Leicester going for a draw tonight, rather than trying to go toe-to-toe with Newcastle, is quite smart. Risky, of course, as Everton could easily beat Bournemouth.

What a huge call from Dean Smith to leave his two most talented players on the bench, just the second time this season that neither player has featured for the Foxes. Interestingly, Leicester only win in the last 14 leagues games came against Wolves, when neither Maddison or Barnes played.

And it looks like a change in formation, Leicester lining up in a 3-5-2, or a 5-3-2, depending on how you look at it.

The teams: Maddison and Barnes both on the Leicester bench!

Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson, Isak.
Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Gordon, Saint-Maximin, Lewis, Targett, Murphy, Anderson, Miley.

Leicester: Iversen, Castagne, Faes, Evans, Thomas, Ndidi, Souttar, Soumare, Tielemans, Iheanacho, Vardy.
Subs: Barnes, Maddison, Smithies, Kristiansen, Amartey, Daka, Mendy, Praet, Tete.

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)


Ignoring the VERY important battle for Europa Conference League qualification (!), only six teams realistically have anything left to play for in the Premier League this season: Newcastle, Manchester United, Liverpool (competing for the top four) along with Everton, Leeds and Leicester (fighting to avoid the drop).

Leicester – deep, deep in the relegation mire – will count themselves rather unlucky to be playing the top-placed of these six teams in their penultimate game. Currently 19th, Leicester will jump out of the bottom three on goal difference with a win tonight but anything else means Everton will remain 17th heading into the final match. With the Merseyside club playing Bournemouth at home (and relegation candidates Leeds given the gift of Spurs at Elland Road on the final day), tonight is an absolutely pivotal game for the 2015-16 champions to get ahead while they still can.

Leicester’s chances of getting a result at St James’ Park this evening are severely hindered by Newcastle’s own ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League – the Magpies only need one more point to be sure of a top-four finish, which will bring a transformative boost for the club’s coffers and act as a tasty carrot for prospective summer signings.

St James’ Park is going to be absolutely rocking under the lights, and Geordies will feel confident of getting the point they need – only Manchester United have conceded fewer goals at home, and Leicester haven’t won away from home since the 4 February.

That said, the away side are used to beating the odds. It would be very Jamie Vardy for the Leicester striker to go and spoil Newcastle’s party.

Kick-off: 8pm BST

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top