Rodgers searching for Foxes' consistency
Leicester host Newcastle this weekend but there is no guarantee the inconsistent Foxes will be able to overcome their relegation-threatened opponents. Brendan Rodgers' team have lacked the consistency of the last two seasons with Leicester currently outside the top ten in the Premier League. Five wins from 15 matches is a disappointing return with City lacking the sparkle which so nearly earned Champions League football in the last two years.
Rodgers was again left to bemoan Leicester's season-long weakness from set pieces this week. Aston Villa's goals both came from set plays with Leicester losing 2-1 on Sunday, extending their tally of goals conceded from corners and free-kicks to ten in the league.
Only three teams have conceded more than Leicester's 27 goals this season and the team will struggle to climb the table if this record fails to improve.
Their defensive woes haunted them again on Thursday night after a 3-2 defeat in Napoli scuppered their hopes of extending their Europa League campaign.
Newcastle lifted by overdue victory
Newcastle lifted the gloom on Tyneside with a long-awaited win after defeating Burnley 1-0 last weekend. Eddie Howe was appointed as Steve Bruce's successor last month and the former Bournemouth manager guided the Magpies to their first win in their 15th league game of the campaign. Callum Wilson's first-half strike secured the vital three points to take the club off the bottom of the table.
Howe knows he needs to keep Newcastle within touching distance of safety heading into the new year, with the prospect of bolstering the squad through significant investment during the January transfer window under the new owners. Four points from the last two games is a step in the right direction and a first clean sheet of the season, in the win over Burnley, was certainly much-needed.
Leicester are 1.76 favourites for this Sunday's match but there are enough doubts against them to ignore this bet. The hosts have failed to win their last three games in all competitions and have earned just three league victories from their seven home matches this season. Their current form fails to inspire confidence and they could be facing their opponents at the wrong time.
Newcastle are rated 5.1 outsiders for the match and this certainly should not be dismissed. The Magpies face a struggle to stay in the top flight but their recent results have given them some hope heading into the festive period. One defeat from their last five matches is something to build on and they could take advantage of a tired Leicester team following their disappointment in Italy.
The draw is trading at [4.1] and Newcastle have been held in three of their last five matches. Leicester certainly look a team that can be taken on and their price is too short based on their form this season. Newcastle won 4-2 at Leicester in May's last meeting and the hosts are worth laying at [1.78], which pays out if Newcastle avoid defeat, with major question marks defensively against them.
Leicester's weaknesses at the back have hindered them this season and could cost them dearly again this weekend. Rodgers' side have not kept a clean sheet since the opening day of the season in August with the team conceding in their last 14 league matches.
The Foxes have also conceded at least two goals in each of their last four games.
Newcastle will fancy their chances of breaching the Leicester defence but might have a task keeping out the hosts' attack. James Maddison and Jamie Vardy will offer a threat, providing three of the goals in their 4-2 win over Watford, last month. Newcastle have conceded in all seven away matches this season and both teams to score is a confident selection at [1.65].
Leicester have conceded at least twice in each of their last five home Premier League games - they have not done so in six consecutive home league games since a run of seven between September and November 1964. Newcastle are 15/8 to score two or more goals this weekend.
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