Newcastle back on track
Newcastle's momentum was stalled by three successive away defeats at Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham but they got back on track with last week's 1-0 home win over Wolves.
Having brought in big-money signings in January, Eddie Howe has virtually done enough to secure safety, with Newcastle heading into the weekend 10 points clear of the relegation zone in 15th place on 34 points.
Bruno Guimaraes, the star signing for £40m from Lyon, has started to impress in a three-man midfield alongside Joelinton and Jonjo Shelvey.
Ryan Fraser went off in the Wolves match with a hamstring injury and looks set to be sidelined. Joe Willock's knee injury will be assessed, although it looks unlikely he can force his way back into the starting midfield.
Leicester on European high
Leicester have had a below-par domestic season by recent standards, failing to mount a challenge for trophies or the Champions League places, but they have found some late-season form and could yet finish on a high in the Europa Conference League.
Brendan Rodgers' side reached the semi-finals with a comeback victory at PSV Eindhoven on Thursday night, turning a one-goal deficit into a 2-1 win with strikes from James Maddison in the 77th minute and Ricardo Pereira after 88 minutes.
That success added to the upturn in form in their last three Premier League matches, which have brought home wins over Brentford and Crystal Palace (both 2-1) and a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.
Following Thursday's European trip, and with the semi-final in mind, Rodgers may well change his entire back four with Caglar Soyuncu, Daniel Amartey, James Justin and Luke Thomas coming into the starting XI.
There could also be places for Nampalys Mendy, Ademola Lookman and Patson Daka.
Newcastle's home record under Howe is W4 D4 L1, with the only defeat being the 4-0 against leaders Manchester City on December 19.
Since the start of January, when the influx of better players started, the Magpies' home record has improved to W3 D1 L0 and their overall form figures in 2022 are W7 D2 L3.
Two of the three defeats in that time have been against teams in the Champions League places (Chelsea and Tottenham), which gives the 2022 version of Newcastle a high win rate against most of the division.
A measure of the Magpies' standing now is that they rank fifth in the Premier League since the start of January. The only teams ahead of them on points per game in that period are the four occupying the Champions League slots.
Leicester are 11th in that ranking since the start of January, which indicates they are a little way behind Newcastle on current form, although the gap has closed with the Foxes' recent good run.
A major issue for Rodgers has been Leicester's poor away form. They rank fifth-bottom in the away table and their only win in their last nine road trips was at relegation strugglers Burnley, while one of their other two away wins in the Premier League was against rock-bottom Norwich.
The fact that they have struggled away in other competitions (albeit with Thursday's win in Eindhoven a notable exception) indicates the problems are deep-seated.
One of those problems is Leicester's vulnerability at set-pieces. Opta point out that, excluding penalties, Newcastle have scored a higher share of Premier League goals from set pieces than any other side this season (38.2% - 13/34), while Leicester have conceded the highest share in the competition this term (33.3% - 16/48).
Leicester's away record after Thursday nights in Europe is W1 D2 L3 and, having put everything into this week's second leg in Eindhoven, their motivation here is questionable.
The pick is Newcastle to win at 2.285/4.
Given Leicester's issues at set-pieces, it could be worth including Newcastle striker Chris Wood with a home win in a Bet Builder as he scored in both of the Magpies' last two victories.
Opta note that Wood has scored four Premier League goals against his former side Leicester, only netting more against West Ham (seven) and Wolves (six).
A Bet Builder with a Newcastle win and Wood as anytime goalscorer is available at odds of 3.64.
Given Leicester's issues on the road, it is no surprise that they rank high on the away goals chart with 64% of their matches having had over 2.5 goals. Over 2.5 goals is available at 1.9720/21 here.
Even more strikingly, both teams have scored in 11 of Leicester's 14 away games (79%).
Newcastle's 10 home games under Howe have seen both teams score in six (60%) and over 2.5 goals scored in four (40%).
Both teams to score looks a good option at 1.794/5.
Leicester have won four of their last six league games (D1 L1), more than they had in their previous 14 (W3 D4 L7). However, away from home the Foxes have lost five of their last seven Premier League games (W1 D1), with their only victory coming at Burnley in that run. Leicester are 3.55 to win here.