Leicester City-Newcastle United Preview
Eddie Howe believes that Newcastle United have become "harder to play against" since they last faced Leicester City, and hopes that his side can deliver a showcase performance when they welcome them to St James' Park.
The Magpies look to be closing in on officially securing their top-flight status once more following a superb turnaround under their new manager, but will face a tricky task in Brendan Rodgers' Foxes.
The visitors ran out 4-0 victors in the reverse clash at the King Power Stadium earlier in the season, but Howe says the mettle of his side is now changed since that hefty defeat.
"We've become more resilient since that game and we're harder to play against," he stated. "I'd love to think we've improved but the reflection of that will be in the performance. We've got to show those qualities on Sunday."
Against a side fresh from continental exploits in the Europa Conference League, Howe played down suggestions of fatigue, adding: "We've been in this situation before where we've played teams that have played in Europe.
"My experience is that it doesn't have too much bearing on the next game. They've got a squad to cope and an experienced manager. We expect a full strength Leicester."
Rodgers meanwhile paid tribute to James Maddison, and waxed lyrical about his performance after the Foxes delivered a superb showcase against PSV Eindhoven to book themselves a semi-final spot.
"I thought he was wonderful in Eindhoven, especially in the second half, and in any team you are looking for efficiency," he added.
"He is playing at a really high level, then it is just all about choice. He can't do any more other than just stay consistent and focused. He is up there with his numbers and work-rate."
Newcastle - Chris Wood
The forward scored Newcastle's winner against Wolves last time out, and is looking to score in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since joining the Magpies. Wood has scored four Premier League goals against his former side Leicester, only netting more against West Ham (7) and Wolves (6).
Leicester - James Maddison
Leicester's Maddison has been involved in five goals in six Premier League appearances against Newcastle (3 goals, 2 assists) - against no side has he been involved in more in the competition. Given his rich run of form, it's hard to see him not adding to his tally this weekend.
- Newcastle have lost nine of their last 12 Premier League games against Leicester (W3). Their previous nine league defeats against the Foxes came across a period of 39 games (W19 D11) between 1979 and 2014.
- Leicester have won each of their last five Premier League away games against Newcastle. In their league history, only at Leyton Orient have they won more consecutively on the road (6 between 1925 and 1980).
- Newcastle have lost six of their seven Premier League games on Sundays this season (W1), conceding at least three goals in five of those defeats.
- Newcastle have won each of their last four Premier League home games, as many as they had in their previous 24 at St James' Park (D11 L9). They last won five in a row at home in March 2019.
- Leicester have scored around four goals more than their xG total in the Premier League this season (45 goals, 40.7 xG) - only Chelsea have a bigger difference between goals scored and expected goals in the competition this term (64 goals, 56.1 xG).
Updated April 16, 2022