Newcastle United remain one of two clubs left in the Premier League without a win this season. The other being newly promoted Burnley. The Magpies need a victory at home on Saturday against Leicester City to avoid the dubious distinction of having their worst start to the season in their long history.
The last time Newcastle began a season winless in their first seven matches was in 1999-2000 season. The club still managed to finish a respectable 11th in the table that season. They will face a confident Leicester side at St. James’ Park.
Former Newcastle interim manager Nigel Pearson has done an excellent job of lifting this club to promotion. The Foxes have nine points through the first seven Premier league matches to start the campaign. The visitors will be hoping to continue that momentum on Saturday.
This will be the first meeting between these clubs since the 2009-10 campaign which Newcastle spent in the Championship. The Magpies are hoping that a win could jump-start their season.
Injuries and Suspensions
Newcastle remain a hurting squad. The recent international break did not change matters much. Goalkeeper Tim Krul suffered an elbow injury while on-duty with Holland. However, according to a club press release, the injury is ‘very minor.’ And the club ‘are confident that he [Krul] will be available for the game against Leicester City on Saturday.’
Daryl Janmaat pulled out of the Holland squad because of a hamstring injury, but he is expected to be ready in time for Saturday. Paul Dummett also withdrew from the Wales squad because of a thigh injury. But he is also expected to be available.
And Ryan Taylor may finally be ready to return to action after a long absence. The English defender has been training with the club and he could be on the bench.
Jonas Gutiérrez continues his battle against cancer. Siem de Jong, Rolando Aarons, Adam Campbell and Davide Santon are all expected to be out longer with various injuries.
Leicester could be without Esteban Cambiasso once again. The Argentine missed the last match against Burnley because of an undisclosed injury. While defenders Matthew Upson and Zoumana Bakayogo are both out long-term.
Alan Pardew decided to go with a slightly altered version of the 4-2-3-1 formation against Swansea City. Summer signing Rémy Cabella found himself on the bench after a series of ineffective displays. Moussa Sissoko played a more attacking role. While Gabriel Obertan made a rare start and played well.
If Tim Krul is unable to start in goal, Rob Elliot will almost certainly take his place. And after a brace against Swansea, Papiss Cissé is assured of another start at centre-forward.
Nigel Pearson has rotated between the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 formations so far this season. The Blue Army are a hard-working side that have not looked out-of-place in the Premiership. Danish international Kasper Schmeichel has been solid for the club between the posts.
Argentinian striker Leonardo Ulloa has been one of the biggest surprises of this early season. The club spent €10 million to sign the 28-year-old from Brighton & Hove Albion this summer. And so far he is proving that he deserved to play at this level. Ulloa has scored five goals in the first seven league matches.
Leicester City has not shown much fear this season against the more talented Premier League clubs. They beat Manchester United back on August 23. They also played Arsenal to a draw. And even gave Chelsea all they could handle before the London club manged two second-half goals.
Leicester has one win in their first three away matches this season. They beat Stoke City 1-0 back on September 13th. The Magpies have yet to win in three matches at St. James’ Park this season. The club has only won once in their last seven league matches at home dating back to last season.
Newcastle managed a 2-2 draw against Swansea last time despite a largely lackluster performance. The Magpies need a win ahead of some difficult matches in the coming weeks. The club have more than enough to overcome a stubborn Leicester side. Newcastle find a way.
Newcastle United 2 – 1 Leicester City