Newcastle United and Leicester City renew their rivalries, albeit in a cup competition, as the Magpies host the Foxes in the Second Round of the Carabao Cup.
Newcastle United produced a shock result after a couple of disappointing outings under Steve Bruce. After the heartbreaking 3-1 defeat to Norwich City, morale would have been pretty low in the camp. But, Steve Bruce managed to rally his troops to produce a masterclass, beating Tottenham 1-0 away.
Leicester City also finally recorded their first win of the campaign. After successive draws against Wolves and Chelsea, the Foxes were made to toil for the three points by Sheffield United, with a flash of magic from Harvey Barnes proving to be the difference between the two sides.
There are positives for both sides, with Newcastle finally getting their first win under Steve Bruce and Leicester finally seeing their top goalscorer Jamie Vardy open his account for the 2019-20 campaign. Both the teams will be going into the Carabao Cup fixture with a morale boost, albeit with Newcastle on a more of a high, thanks to their win and clean sheet against a side like Tottenham.
Team News & Tactics
There are lots of injury concerns for Steve Bruce to deal with. The 1-0 win over Tottenham came at a cost. Newcastle United have lost their midfielder Allan Saint-Maximin to a hamstring injury while their captain Jamaal Lascelles also picked up a knock. The Englishman is unlikely to be risked against Leicester City and will be a huge miss in the defence for Bruce.
DeAndre Yedlin and Florian Lejuene continue their run on the sidelines. Steve Bruce also has to deal with problems upfront, with neither Andy Carroll nor Dwight Gayle expected to be fit enough to be in contention for a place in the starting eleven against Leicester City.
Bruce has preferred a 4-5-1 so far, with the formation taking a 4-2-3-1 shape on the field when attacking. Jonjo Shelvey was sacrificed in favour of a five-man defensive setup against Tottenham. But, the playmaker should return to the starting lineup and will be the one to reprise the number 10 role for Newcastle against Leicester.
The rest of the lineup is likely to remain the same, with Federico Fernandez likely to slot into the centre-back position to replace Jamaal Lascelles. Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury is likely to see Christian Atsu return to the starting lineup out wide on the right, with Joelinton continuing to lead the Newcastle attack.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Fernandez, Ritchie; Longstaff, Hayden; Atsu, Shelvey, Almiron; Joelinton
Ben Chilwell is the only one that could be a forced absence. The Englishman missed the last two league games and is unlikely to be risked in the midweek, which means Christian Fuchs will don the right side of the back four. Ricardo Pereira could be given a day off by Brendan Rodgers, who could in turn, hand a debut to James Justin.
Wes Morgan could get a game alongside Jonny Evans, with Caglar Soyuncu being rested for the weekend. The same could be said for Kasper Schmeichel, with Rodgers likely to opt to give Danny Ward a game in goal for Leicester against Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup.
Harvey Barnes seems to have done enough during the weekend to warrant a start against Newcastle, with Ayoze Perez the one to likely make way. Marc Albrighton could also be given some game time by Rodgers, depending upon whether he wants to rest James Maddison.
Interestingly, Hamza Chowdhury was preferred over Nampalys Mendy against Sheffield United. But, Mendy should be given a chance against Newcastle, despite Wilfred Ndidi returning to full fitness. Dennis Praet and Youri Tielemeans should keep their place as the creative heads in the midfield.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ward; Justin, Evans, Morgan, Fuchs; Tielemans, Mendy, Praet; Albrighton, Vardy, Barnes
1. There have been no draws in their last six meetings in all competitions.
2. The away side has won five of the last six match-ups between Newcastle United and Leicester City.
3. Newcastle United have lost their last three home games against Leicester City.
4. Their last meeting in a cup competition was back in January 2015 in the FA Cup, with Leicester beating Newcastle by a marginal scoreline of 1-0.
5. Jamie Vardy has a disappointing record for Leicester City in the EFL Cup, scoring just twice in a total of 10 appearances in the competition for the club.
Player to Watch
A lot will be on Vardy’s shoulders. Yes, he did open his account for the 2019-20 campaign finally. But, it will now be down to whether he can maintain the momentum or even spur on to better form on the pitch. A key will be to see whether he can unlock the Newcastle defence that shut down Tottenham.
While the Newcastle backline and overall squad is expected to undergo changes for the match, Vardy will get chances to score. His record in cup competitions, EFL Cup in particular, is not great. But, a good performance with something credible to show for it could be just what he needs to burst into the explosive form that he has in his locker.
Newcastle United 1-2 Leicester City
The Tottenham win was definitely a high for Newcastle, especially amid all the fan protests against the Mike Ashley ownership. But, Leicester City, on paper and in terms of actual performances on the field, look the better side, despite a jittery start to their 2019-20 season.
Newcastle will be missing Jamaal Lascelles, who will be a huge absence for them at the back. This is likely to cost the Magpies a clean sheet against the Foxes, who should do enough to progress on to the Third Round of the Carabao Cup over Newcastle United on Wednesday.
The majority of that Newcastle line up is currently injured or carrying knocks I’m afraid. Schar, Almiron, Atsu and Joelinton are unlikely to feature. Jetro, M Longstaff, Clark and Muto in with a 5 4 1 formation is my guess