Leicester City vs Newcastle United preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City (R) is tackled by Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United (L) during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St. James Park on January 03, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images)

Leicester City have the chance to strengthen their place in the UEFA Champions League spots on Friday night when they face relegation-threatened Newcastle United.

A win for the Foxes would move them eight points clear of West Ham United with just a maximum of nine points to play for after the full-time whistle.

Meanwhile, towards the other end of the table, three points for Steve Bruce's side will all but guarantee their safety as they currently lie one place above the relegation zone in 17th.

Team News 

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Jonny Evans will be available despite playing with an injury in recent times.

The Northern Irishman - who scored in last week's draw at Southampton - complained of an issue at the end of the game at the St Mary's Stadium but Rodgers confirmed he should be fit to play.

Ricardo Pereira could also be in contention for a recall to the starting XI after impressing in training whilst James Maddison is also continuing to rediscover his match fitness since returning from injury.

For Newcastle, defender Fabian Schar is ruled out through suspension after his sending off in last weekend's defeat to Arsenal.

​​​​​​​Jamal Lascelles, Issac Hayden, Karl Darlow, and Ryan Fraser will also miss out on the trip to the King Power Stadium through injury.

Predicted Line-Ups

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Perez, Iheanacho , Vardy.​​​​​​​

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Fernandez, Clark, Dummett; Murphy, Almiron, Shelvey, Longstaff, Ritchie; Wilson, Saint-Maximin.

Last Meeting

The two teams met for the first time this season back at the start of January, where the Foxes were 2-1 winners in the North East.

Goals from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans put Leicester into a controlling lead however Andy Carroll's late consolation did spark some hope into the Magpies but it was too little too late as Leicester held on to start 2021 off with a win.

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Ones to watch

Youri Tielemans - Leicester City

With survival on Newcastle's mind, the game could potentially open up on the pitch allowing Leicester's creative output to make his mark on the game.

The Belgian has been superb in the middle of the park for the Foxes this season, playing in a slightly deeper box to box role, the 23-year-old can pick apart a defence with just a single pass whilst also showing his scoring touch with eight in all competitions this season - including his strike against the Magpies in the previous meeting between the two.

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Allan Saint-Maximin - Newcastle United

The ​​​​​​​Frenchman is one of the most exciting prospects in the league and his performances in recent weeks have helped breathe a new lease of life into the Newcastle squad.

In particular, his cameo substitute appearance in the win against Burnley was a standout with his unpredictability and frightening pace devastating for opposition players at times.

Linking up with ​​​​​​​Callum Wilson, Saint-Maximin could be the key to bringing three points back to St James' Park.

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Pre-match thoughts 

With the race for a spot in the top four really hotting up towards the end of the season, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes his side are well poised and that they are expecting a close-fought battle for their place.

“It’s going to be tight right to the end. We have always thought that. You’ve got to win games. We’re in a great position with four games to go.”

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has his own battle to fight in the East Midlands as well this weekend and with his side nine points clear of third-from-bottom Fulham, feels three points should be enough to see them safe.

"If we beat Leicester we are virtually there. You can't take anything for granted though. 

"It's a big game against really good opposition, so can we go and get a result, play well and keep it in our hands? 

“There's still a lot to play for and my aim is still to get near to the points we got to last year."

How to watch?

The game is available to watch live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League, and Sky Sports Ultra HD with coverage getting underway at 7:30 pm ahead of an 8:00 pm kick-off.

Alternatively, you can keep up to date with live text updates on the VAVEL website and Leicester VAVEL Twitter page.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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