This season’s surprise package visit St James’ Park for standard Saturday afternoon fixture against Schteve’s Magpies. Leicester currently occupy third place with an impressive 25 points from 12 games, winning their last three on the trot.
As for the hosts, our win over Bournemouth last time out doubled our tally of wins for the season, taking to 10 points and just out of the relegation, one point below Chelsea on 10. If we manage to steal a third win of the campaign here, it will be the first time in a year that we’ve recorded back-to-back wins.
We have been in somewhat of a run of form, even if the results don’t agree, and many decried the performance against Bournemouth that resulted in victory. We’ve quadrupled our points haul from the last six (2W, 2D, 2L) compared to the first half-dozen matches.
One glimmer of hope is that Leicester’s front-line leader, Jamie Vardy, a man on a nine game scoring spree and top of the goal charts, is a doubt thanks to a groin and hop injury that ruled him out of international duty.
We’ve managed to survive this round of internationals without any major new injury concerns. Elliot, who has been playing through injury, did not end up representing Ireland and should hopefully be well rested. Massadio Haïdara is reported close to his latest return, Karl Darlow is back in training, and there have been sightings of the mythical creature known as Sylvain Marveaux.
Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, and Steven Taylor all remain long term absentees.
For the Foxes the main concern is of course Jamie Vardy. Their only other issue is Matty James, whose serious knee injury suffered back in May is expected to keep him out until well into 2016. Danny Simpson will face his former side, and will hopefully continue to back-pedal out of the way.
“I think the [international] windows have been good for us. We’ve looked, reviewed, settled. And after the last one we looked and said: ‘Right, Chelsea and Man City, we looked at the team for those two games and we’ve seen enough.’
“We’ve stuck with that since and we’ve kind of settled down.”
– Steve McClaren
Based on those pre-match comments, I expect McClaren to again name as unchanged a team as possible.
They’re the in form side and we’re just about finding our feet a third of the way into the season while we languish in the bottom quarter. So I guess we’ll go and get a second consecutive win. 2-1.
Where to Watch / Listen
Tickets are still on sale and should be available from the match day box office up until kick-off. The match is not televised live in the UK. Local radio commentary, as always, is on BBC Newcastle.
How do you think we’ll get on in this game? Have your say in our discussion thread.
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