Newcastle v Leicester: Foxes to boost superb away record

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy is set to return against Newcastle

Andrew Atherley says goals are likely at St James' Park with Jamie Vardy back to lead the Leicester attack...

"Leicester's away record against teams outside the top five is an impressive six wins out of six with at least two goals scored each time."

Recommended Bet
Leicester win with both teams to score at 5/2 with Betfair Sportsbook

Newcastle v Leicester
Wednesday 1 January, 15:00
Live on BT Sport

Lengthy injury list

Newcastle lost 2-1 at home to Everton on Saturday, their first home defeat since the opening weekend (0-1 v Arsenal) and their second in a row over Christmas following the 4-1 loss at Manchester United. They are 11th in the Premier League on 25 points.

Steve Bruce has a lengthy injury list, with Jamaal Lascelles, Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie still some way off a return and fresh concerns for Joelinton, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune to go with existing doubts about Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Ki Sung-yueng.

Big names set to return

Leicester's title ambitions were ripped apart in back-to-back defeats by Manchester City (3-1 away) and Liverpool (0-4 at home) but they bounced back on Saturday with a 2-1 win at West Ham that sealed opposing manager Manuel Pellegrini's fate.

Brendan Rodgers' side remain firmly in the reckoning for a Champions League place, sitting in second place on 42 points. They are 13 points behind Liverpool but a point ahead of City, with 11 points back to Manchester United in fifth.

Rodgers left out many of his regular starters at West Ham and top scorer Jamie Vardy will be back after the arrival of his new baby on Saturday. James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi, Ben Chilwell, Caglar Soyuncu, Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes are also set to return.

The only fitness doubt surrounds Ricardo Pereira, although Rodgers says he has shaken off a hamstring injury.

Big ask for Newcastle

In between their two home defeats against Arsenal and Everton, Newcastle's unbeaten run at St James' Park comprised four wins and four draws and they rank eighth on home form.

They are a low-scoring home side, however, with just 11 goals in 10 games and they have won only two out of seven at home when they have conceded (W2 D3 L2).

That is going to make them vulnerable against Leicester, who have scored 24 goals in 10 away games (second only to Manchester City) and have not failed to hit the target on the road since the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United on September 14.

Leicester's only other away losses were at Liverpool and City, which means their away record against teams outside the top five is an impressive six wins out of six with at least two goals scored each time.

Newcastle's game plan surely has to revolve around keeping a clean sheet, given their own lack of scoring power, and that looks a big ask.

An appealing bet is Leicester off -1 on the Asian handicap at 2.0521/20, which comes off if they win by two goals or more with stakes returned if they win by a single goal.

Four of their six away wins and eight of their 13 wins overall have been by at least a two-goal margin, including the 5-0 home thrashing of Newcastle in September.

Leicester have goal power

Newcastle rank low for matches with over 2.5 goals, producing just four out of 10 at home (40%), although their percentage is higher for both teams to score (60%) at St James' Park.

Both teams have scored in 60% of Leicester's away games too and that same figure applies to their away games with over 2.5 goals, mainly thanks to their own scoring prowess on the road.

Although Newcastle's injuries and general low scoring rate raise a little doubt, they have improved as the season has gone on and have now scored in each of their last seven home games. Both teams to score looks a decent bet at 1.9720/21.

Given that Leicester look likely winners, it could be worth chancing bigger odds on a Leicester win with both teams to score at 5/2 with Betfair Sportsbook.

Opta Stat

Newcastle have faced 22 shots in each of their last two Premier League games - in their first 18 matches, they were facing 15 shots per game on average. Over 2.5 goals is 1.9520/21.

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