Premier League football resumes this Monday as Newcastle United welcomes Leicester City to St. James’ Park for the penultimate game of the 2022/23 season.
Both sides are desperate for three points, with Newcastle desperate to win here to seal a place in the Premier League top four, while Leicester are fighting to avoid relegation.
Eddie Howe’s side took a step closer to their aim with a very important 4-1 win over high-flying Brighton last time. That win took them to within three points of Champions League qualification, which they can achieve if they win here.
But if they lose here, they will go into the last game of the season, probably needing a win to seal a top-four finish.
Having escaped a potential banana skin against Brighton, the Magpies should be confident of winning here, especially as they have a strong home record. Howe’s side have lost just two times at home this season, winning eleven and drawing five times.
Meanwhile, Leicester City are on the brink of relegation after a 3-0 loss to Liverpool in their last outing. The Foxes are about to make a muted exit from the top flight just seven years after becoming the unlikeliest English champions of all time.
If they lose here, they will be relegated, as they sit second from the bottom, two points behind the safety line with a terrible goal difference.
The signs are ominous for them as they are winless in four (D2, L2), where they have shipped in ten goals. Dean Smith’s side are also winless in seven games away from home (D2, L5), adding extra doubt to their chances. While they have netted in their five most recent tests on hostile turf, it offers no guarantee they will score against a Newcastle side that has conceded the second-fewest goals in the league this season (32).