Charlie Nicholas has predicted that Newcastle United will slump to a defeat against Leicester City on Sunday.
The Sky Sports pundit was complimentary of the Magpies’ attitude in their 0-0 draw with Brighton on Saturday but believes that Leicester will have too much for them going forward at the King Power Stadium.
Nicholas has predicted that the Foxes will pick up a 2-0 victory, even without the influential James Maddison who could miss the game on Sunday afternoon.
The Scotsman highlighted that Leicester need to utilise Jamie Vardy quicker to break down Steve Bruce’s side, and encouraged them to find gaps in the Magpies’ back five to hurt them with the England international’s pace.
“Maddison is an injury doubt for this one but I can only see a Leicester win regardless,” he wrote on Sky Sports.
“Newcastle dug in and were dogged in their draw against Brighton last week but Leicester will pass, probe and eventually score. Jamie Vardy needs the ball into gaps earlier if they are to break down a back three or five, and I think they will do that.”
It is no surprise to see many predict that Leicester will beat Newcastle on Sunday given their contrasting starts to the season. Despite Nicholas admitting that the Magpies dug in against Brighton, the reality of it is that they were abysmal for the majority of the game, and must step up if they even want to take home a point from the King Power Stadium. Maddison potentially missing the game could play a big factor in the result, with the Foxes’ dazzler having been superb so far this season. The 22-year-old completes 3.5 dribbles per game as well as an average of 3.3 shots according to WhoScored, and is one of their biggest threats, so without him they could have a blunt attack. Leicester still have many threats such as Vardy, and Newcastle will need to be at the top of their game to come away with anything. Nicholas has backed the home side to keep a clean sheet, and that’s no surprise when you look at Newcastle’s record and the fact they haven’t scored more than one goal in a single game so far this season. Newcastle will have their backs to the wall in this one, and if they can keep Leicester from scoring they could frustrate the home crowd and potentially steal a result, just like they did last season.