Newcastle v Leicester – English Premier League Betting Preview
In today’s free soccer betting preview, we will take a look at a clash between Newcastle and Leicester, who will meet on Sunday, January 3, at St. James’ Park. It will mark both sides’ first fixture of 2021 and an excellent opportunity for the Foxes to extend their unbeaten record in the Premier League to four matches.
Newcastle v Leicester
When: Sunday, January 3 at 14:15 GMT
Where: St. James’ Park
Weather: Showers, 5°
Referee: Rob Jones
After failing to secure a single win in their last five outings, Newcastle will hope for better luck on Sunday, when they welcome Leicester at the St. James’ Park for the first time since January 1, 2020 when Brendan Rodgers’ squad pocketed a commanding 3-0 victory. Newcastle enter this match off a shock 0:0 draw against Liverpool, however, that was also the only praiseworthy result Steve Bruce’s men managed to put together across their last five outings.
Newcastle are 0-2-3 since mid-December, which includes three losses against Leeds (2:5), Brentford (0:1) and Manchester City (0:2), as well as two stalemates with Fulham (1:1) and most recently against Liverpool (1:1). What’s more, Bruce won’t be able to count on Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin who are sidelined while they recover from positive coronavirus tests, whereas Isaac Hayden remains suspended.
Magpies failed to find a net in four out of their last eight outings and have managed only 17 goals so far in the EPL. Leicester, meanwhile, managed 29 goals in 16 games and have scored in all but one of their last five, including all of the last three.
In their most recent fixture, Leicester needed a late equalizer to secure a stalemate at Selhurst Park, which might not look too promising, but Rodgers decided to make some changes for that match, so a draw is not a bad result by any means. Despite their stalemate, Leicester are still third in the table, just four points behind Liverpool and Manchester United, however, that does not necessarily mean much considering only three points are separating third to 10th.
Regardless, Rodgers’ side have won six out of their eight EPL road games this season, which includes victories against Tottenham Spurs and Manchester City. The only two teams that managed to stop Leicester on the road were Liverpool (3:0) and the aforementioned Palace, but as we have established the latter result hardly holds any weight.
On the other side, Newcastle are unbeaten at home across the last three games, when they bested West Brom (2:1) and forced two stalemates against Fulham and Liverpool. That is not entirely shocking since Bruce’s men are capable of picking up results against the odds, however, with a long list of missing players and obvious lack of form, we are not too excited about predicting another surprise outcome at the St. James’ Park.
Leicester have won all of their last four Premier League games at Newcastle and managed to keep three clean sheets in that stretch. This effectively makes St. James’ Park Leicester’s second-favorite ground to visit, behind West Brom’s The Hawthorns where the Foxes have won in all of their last five visits.
The betting odds on Leicester are not exactly high and we don’t see a problem with that, however, they’re still a bit too low for us to bet on the visitors to win. Instead, we like our chances with an under 2.5 bet.
Even though Leicester have proven to be a very deadly team with the ball (1.81 goals per game), the recent stats are pointing towards a low-scoring affair. That is largely due to Newcastle’s solid defensive work across their last four outings when they conceded no more than twice.
They have even managed to keep Liverpool at zero goals which was quite an accomplishment considering the Reds have scored at least once in all of their EPL fixtures so far this season. That run also includes a 7:0 victory over Crystal Palace in R14, so there is definitely something to be said about Newcastle’s defence.
The referee for Sunday’s match will be Robert Jones. It will mark his fourth EPL game in charge this season and his first since last Sunday when he handed out three yellow cards in Leed’s 1:0 victory over Burnley. So far this season, Jones has handed out eight yellow cards and no red cards.
Injured/ missing players:
Newcastle: Ryan Fraser ( groin – 1 week), Jamaal Lascelles (COVID-19 – 1 week), Allan Saint-Maximin (COVID-19 – 1 week), Isaac Hayden (suspended – 1 week), Paul Dummett (illness – late fitness test)
Leicester: Cengiz Under (thigh – 1 week), Ricardo Barbosa Pereira (groin – 1 week), James Maddison (knee – late fitness test), Wesley Fofana (knee – late fitness test)
Prediction: Under 2.5 goals – 1.96 at Betfair