MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle United v Leicester City, St James’ Park, 21/Nov/15, KO: 3pm, Premier League.

by • November 19, 2015 • Match previewsComments (7)2479


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How can you tell if a team is in reasonable form?  The League table helps, but isn’t indicative of current form. The injury ‘table’ often gives it away.  When smaller teams do well, often a key ingredient is a full, fit squad to choose from. Watford’s (comparative) flying to start to the season has  mirrored their lack of injuries – just 4 across the whole season.  Palace have just the three injuries at the moment, none of them first team players.  Then Leicester.  Leicester City are currently one point off the top of the Premier League.  They have 25 points from 12 games.  They also have only had one player missing through injury this season, Matt James.  It’s an incredible league position and an incredible injury statistic.

Newcastle United are top of the ‘injury league’ with 10 players.  Every year we fight it out with Arsenal for the ‘injury’ title, Vardyoften winning.  Currently  Good, Taylor, Riviere, Obertan, Aarons, Darlow, Krul, Colback, Haidara and Rob Elliot are listed as ‘injured’.  I’d say 5 of those players would be in with a chance of starting Saturday, or at least playing some part.  The same thing happens every year.  It’s not bad luck. Maybe it’s bad luck on Steve McClaren’s part as he’s new to this mess.  It’s not bad luck for Newcastle United.  Something is seriously wrong.  Most injuries are muscle related and not picked up on the pitch.  Many players get injured and are out far longer than originally thought.  What kind of treatment are the players receiving? What an earth is going on.  It’s a farce.  No one is asking any questions.  Why?


This weekend two teams at the top and bottom of the table meet in what is quite a tasty fixture.  Leicester are flying.  HUGO BOSS Green Jurado Jacket - Navy (1)Jamie Vardy is flying.  He’s missed the international fixtures but he’ll be back on Saturday.  He’s hoping to score in a record 11th consecutive game in the Premier League.  He’d be the first player in history to do so in the Premier League.   It’s impressive.  Leicester themselves have blown all pre-season predictions out of the window.  Their superb last quarter of the 14/15 season has propelled itself into this term under the stewardship of Claudio Ranieri.  The man is a class act and never seems to stop smiling.  The only manager I’ve ever heard criticise him in his career are Jose Mourinho (in Italy) and Alan Pardew recently.  Work that one out.


Normally if this United were facing a team at the top end of the league, our chances would be bleak.  However there is some hope.  Besides dismantling a rank Sunderland side on the opening day, 4 2 – Leicester haven’t won a single game this season by more than one goal.  United have kept more clean sheets in their last two games than Leicester have all season.  Simply, Leicester concede goals and chances.  Lots of them.  Leicester gave only conceded 2 less goals than McClaren’s men – a staggering statistic when you think how shaky our defence have been.   The problem is they’ve scored nearly double than our pathetic 13 goals this term and they’ve scored in every single game they’ve played.  There’s a slight feeling amongst some pundits and some Leicester fans that they’ve been a tad fortunate in a few games.


I think United will win the game.  We’ve lost only one of our last 4 games, and that was the referee dominated encounter Classic1with the mackems.  The last two home games, against Norwich and Stoke, the performances have been good and we’ve created chances.  We like to play on the counter attack and I think Leicester like to take the game to the opposition.  It should suit our  quicker players.  The main worry is midfield.  Bournemouth absolutely dominated that area of the pitch (and all others to be fair) and it’s arguable that neither is good enough to play in a Premier League midfield, let alone together.  Tiote has been getting better in recent weeks (not that it was hard to improve) but he still gives the ball away needlessly.  At least he is capable of occasionally winning the ball back.  Anita is much discussed.  I see that he has some sort of social media fan club.  He’s neat and tidy, when under no pressure.  He gives the ball away nearly as much as Tiote.  It’s pathetic that a Premier League is relying on these two in the middle of the park in Premier League fixtures.  One solution is moving Sissoko or Winjaldum inside and playing three in the middle and playing Thauvin.  That negates our two most prominent attacking threats on either flank, who are responsible for most of the goals we’ve scored this season.


There’s another round of international fixtures to go while I’m writing this so fingers crossed for no injuries.


Leicester are due a bit of bad luck, I think we’re due a bit of luck – so hopefully we’ll win this one 3 1.


ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892 







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7 Responses to MATCH PREVIEW: Newcastle United v Leicester City, St James’ Park, 21/Nov/15, KO: 3pm, Premier League.

  1. Rob says:

    If you want another reason to be hopeful Michael, their record at our place is abysmal, they have only won twice at SJP in the past 40 years.

  2. Andy bee says:

    With you there Alex cmon lads 3-1 will get the beer flowing . The team need a collective look at the bmouth fiasco and thank their lucky stars, let’s kick on both players coaches and fans . No room for self pity ( refs and injuries) and bad luck stories get stuck in!

  3. Chris Nappin says:

    We’ve always been horrendous injury-wise, like forever. It would be interesting to hear from players who have played for us to see what the difference between us and other clubs really comes down to. Is it that our medical staff aren’t up to the job? Do we not pay enough attention to players that are injured and just let them get on with it themselves without really pushing them to do the boring physio work? Does Tiote just snap people at every opportunity in training? It’s been the same under all the different managers we’ve had which would suggest that it can’t be down to a single set training regime. Is our training pitch weird or something? It’s bizarre

    • Oliver Simpson says:

      Agree on that fully, it seems no matter what happens at the club, each season we always seem to pick up injuries to a number of first team players no matter what, granted some seem to come from international duties like with Krul and what happened to Owen at Euro 2006.

      Bobby Robson mentioned in his book about the training ground being unfit for training and how Douglas Hall wouldn’t invest in improving it.

      We also each season seem to keep having a defence that happens to leak too many goals and not learn from their mistakes, so it leads to them to rely on the goalkeeper too much with Krul and before him Given before he left in 2009. Given leaving back then was when I knew we would go down that season and we did.

      The midfield in general has been missing a centrepiece since Cayabe was sold off to Paris. tiote just seems like he wants to be elsewhere, Sissoko is better on the wing and that’s when he can be bothered to make the effort. Winjaldum seems to have found his niche on the wing, when it was suppose to be Thauvin I think, but he doesn’t seem to be adapting to English football.

      Aaron hopefully when he comes back from injury can inspire there but who knows.

      While Perez is an all round hard worker and get’s goals when possible, we seem to be lacking someone who can covert into being a 20 goal a season striker. I liked to think Alex can adapt but he like Taylor, Tiote and others lets his temper get the better of him. Too many yellow and reds we keep picking up in the last few years, which seem to point to discipline problems in the dressing room. It needs sorting out sooner rather than later.

      I think the Leicester game will simply come down to which side takes their chances best and which side doesn’t crumble at the back.

  4. paul smith says:

    You think we will win? On what basis? Ref dominated Derby match?
    1..I think we will get well and truly stuffed.
    2..We were dominating the derby until the skipper’s abomination. Clear penalty and clear sending off, get over it.
    Im sorry but I’ve seen absolutely zero to justify this creeping optimism. Mitrovic could be a centre forward I think if we had a winger worth his salt,Thauvin could come good I guess but I’ve seen nowt so far.
    It’s all just very poor. How lucky at Bournmouth man?

    If Steve McClaren gets it right here I’ll be stunned.

  5. Andrew Thompson says:

    If Coloccini was a definite sending off then why did the FA overturn his red card? Anyone who thinks the performance of the referee didn’t have a direct effect on the result either didn’t watch the match or hasn’t got the first idea about the rules of Association Football.

  6. gavnufc85 says:

    I think the amount of injuries we suffer could be more down to the make up, attitudes and behaviour traits of the players we bring in, who are always on the market and appeal only to the powers at NUFC. TIm Krul for example is a dedicated pro and is genuinely injured and badly. Marveaux? We have had more than our fair share of stereotypical lightweight prima donna foreigners over the years aswell. Newcastle has always been a big pull for these players on huge money, many of them just aren’t cut out for it or just don’t care. This would maybe change a bit if we had any prospect of any consistency but as we stumble from one disaster to the next I really don’t think many are in it for the long haul. I thought maybe Siem DeJong would be the case apart, by all accounts a leader and a big influence on the dressing room. Fair enough he has had some genuine chronic injuries but is he now past the point of caring? Seems little desire to push himself in the glimpses we have seen, but two years into a massive contract, he’s probably got his eye on his next move already. Something amiss with Aarons, think the contract scenario is holding him back, will probably flourish with a move elsewhere but barely justifies a big pay day. Steven Taylor is shot and is still the player he was 10 years ago because of it. Obertan is shit scared to be near the pitch. The likes of Cisse and Tiote were almost ever present a few years ago, now winding down looking for a last pay day and just don’t give a shit. Seeing the likes of Dan Gosling being fit and available every week and covering every blade of grass while doing so, something is seriously awash. Graeme Carr has a lot to answer for, but ultimately you can only piss with the cock you’ve got and the buck falls with Charnley and ultimately Ashley.