Leicester City will be looking to keep their upturn in fortunes, going with the visit of fellow Premier League side Newcastle to the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game has arguably come at the wrong time for a Foxes team who have seen an upturn in fortunes over the festive period including the excellent comeback at Anfield on New Year’s day to snatch a point from 2-0 behind.
With the imminent departure of both Jeff Schlupp and Riyad Mahrez to the African Cup of Nations, there is a need for Foxes manager Nigel Pearson to find a new style of play without the two departing wide players.
Influential skipper Wes Morgan will hope for some better luck starting against Newcastle on Saturday, after the horrendous decision to award a penalty against him for supposed handball against Liverpool on New Year’s Day, but Morgan is an experienced campaigner and will be well aware that better luck may just be around the corner as he looks to lead his side to Premiership survival.
David Nugent again found himself on the score sheet with a spectacular half volley at Anfield and it would have been especially pleasing for the boyhood Everton fan to score against their arch rivals. There is a definite upturn in fortunes with Nugent in the side and his all round play does compliment the side and gives them a better balance whether he starts or comes on from the bench.
Leicester are likely to be missing both Danny Drinkwater and Dean Hammond at the weekend with both picking up injuries at Liverpool, and they will both be a loss, particularly Hammond, who was a large part of the Foxes early season form.
It is likely that we will see the return of Argentine legend Esteban Cambiasso to the starting line up where he will likely come up against Jack Colback. Whoever wins the battle between the veteran and the youngster will have a big say on where this game goes.
Managerless Newcastle have been rocked by the likely defection of Alan Pardew to Crystal Palace and it seemed evident in their New Year’s Day draw with Burnley that the club were a little shell-shocked.
How caretakers John Carver and Steve Stone pick up the Magpies will be vital in the clash and they were dealt further bad news with the season ending injury to Steven Taylor. In the early season when Pardew was under pressure, the Newcastle side were beset with individual errors and we saw them return in the Burnley game.
Newcastle will hope to get a new manager in quickly to hopefully get the side playing like they were before Christmas and it is likely that Leicester will be all over them trying to ramp up the pressure and keep their own fortunes going. There is a lot to be said for form and if Leicester can pick up another win, coupled with some astute January transfer window arrivals, we could yet see a Leicester survival.
Prediction – Fortunes have changed for the Foxes and they will be looking to keep their good form going so expect them to beat a Newcastle side with mounting problems. Leicester to win 2-1 with goals from Nugent and Ulloa.