Leicester City will travel to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United today, in what promises to be a fascinating encounter with both sides desperate for a win. The Foxes are coming on the back of securing a win over Wolves via penalty shootout in midweek and will be keen on building momentum with a win over a hapless Newcastle side.
Newcastle have been arguably the most disappointing team this season, having secured only two points in six matches. They are also one of only three clubs yet to register a single victory this campaign and can’t seem to even buy a win with the fans getting increasingly disgruntled with things under the controversial Mike Ashley. Well, we can keep that aside for a whole debate in the coming week.
For now, here are three key battles that could decide the outcome of this game.
Jamaal Lascelles vs Jamie Vardy
After an excellent performance in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town last weekend, Jamie Vardy will be itching to extend his scoring tally against the lowly Newcastle United defence today. The English international has both the pace as well as the tenacity to be a nuisance, which is a likely outcome given Newcastle’s struggles this season.
That being said, Magpies’ club captain Jamaal Lascelles has been more or less a pillar in his side’s defence for a while now and his presence in the backline this weekend would be a huge boost for Rafa Benitez’s men. The 24-year-old is not only defensively astute but also has the quality to impact matches at the other end of the pitch.
There are no doubts about the fact that Newcastle would have conceded a lot more goals had it not been for Lascelles and thus, his presence will be imperative as the Magpies look to stop the menacing Jamie Vardy this weekend.
Jonjo Shelvey vs Wilfred Ndidi
It will be a battle of two industrious midfielders as Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle locks horns with Leicester City midfield engine Wilfred Ndidi. While the latter has been definitely better this season and for obvious reasons, Shelvey has shown time and again as to what he is capable of at the highest level of football.
And his tireless attitude coupled with some clever movements in midfield could create problems for Ndidi, who is known for his intelligence and tenacity at the centre of the pitch.
DeAndre Yedlin vs Ben Chilwell
Last but not the least, DeAndre Yedlin’s clash with Ben Chilwell on the right flank could turn out to be one of the most fascinating duels of the game.
Chilwell, in particular, is already making waves in the Premier League this season, thanks to his consistent performances. In fact, the 21-year-old has been one of Leicester’s most impressive players this campaign and has attempted the maximum number of dribbles in his team.
That being said, Yedlin’s pace and tenacity could wreak havoc on the Leicester defence, which will surely minimize Chilwell’s attacking prowess.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored