Newcastle v Leicester: Predicted Foxes starting XI

Jamie Vardy and James Maddison of Leicester City (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Jamie Vardy and James Maddison of Leicester City (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Leicester City travel to face Champions League bound Newcastle United in what could be our nail in the coffin. Here is who we expect to feature in the test.

The Foxes are staring above the abyss and look set to take a dive into it should results go against the King Power club this game week. Leicester would love to somehow go home with points in the bag against the ‘Magpies’. Dean Smith has a tough set of choices to make.

For example, should the Foxes go overly defensive, the English head coach will find Daniel Iversen under constant pressure, and mistakes are bound to be made eventually. Likewise, going on the attack could leave defender exposed to making damage limitation tackles risking fouls in dangerous positions. So, as is the norm, a balance is needed.

Leicester City injury news

According to Premier Injuries as per Dean Smith’s press conference (see here), the Foxes will see some players rejoin the fold in time for the Newcastle fixture. This being said, Caglar Soyuncu is a no-go, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall is uncertain, and the other absentees are players who would never have played anyway – excluding James Justin of course.

This means that Kelechi Iheanacho returns and ‘KDH’ could be in contention. I believe ‘Nacho’ is a definite starter upon his return, although I also believe Smith will play Jamie Vardy regardless of the ‘Seniorman’s’ comeback.

Predicted XI

The Danish goalkeeper will start in the net, with a back four of Victor Kristiansen, Wout Faes, Jonny Evans, and Ricardo Pereira. Now, Iversen is obvious but my pick of Kristiansen and Evans are purely down to two factors. Firstly, Timothy Castagne was atrocious at left-back in the last match. Secondly, Evans is the captain.

In midfield, Smith will continue to place his faith in Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans, and James Maddison. I think the choice of the Nigerian midfielder would be contentious with both Boubakary Soumare and Nampalys Mendy performing better, but he is the former world class DM in our ranks.

Up front, a strange starting lineup of Harvey Barnes mixed with the English and Nigerian strikers will be preferred. Patson Daka and Tete have performed well coming off the bench to alter the shape and composition of the team, so this will likely continue against Newcastle.

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Leicester City should probably prefer Harry Souttar, ‘Bouba’ and Mendy, as well as bringing Castagne on the right with Pereira pushing forward into a RW role taking Vardy off the pitch. That would be my preference, but this is not the time for experimentation for the Foxes.