48 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Maddison and Albrighton combine well and nearly slip it to Vardy.
Now the same player, Vardy, is onside as he surges onto it down the left. Cracks it at the near post but wide.
46 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Looks like more of the same from Newcastle in terms of personnel and approach, and why not.
Both sides playing with plenty of heart but each manager I think will feel that he has come up with a system that is causing his opponent plenty of problems. Maddison looks the boy most likely. Vardy had it in the net but the offside flag saved the day.
bless him, is doing a commercial for the NHS encouraging people to donate plasma. I hadn’t seen that before.
Half time: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
A well-contested match so far but not a lot to write home about.
45+ mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Four minutes will be added.
It’s less than pulsating stuff, you have to say.
LCFC have a corner. Maddison to deliver. Fofana gets up well but heads over. It’s a really good ball in, flat outswinger around the line of the six yard line.
44 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Tielemans with a wayward effort from a Newcastle corner. Schar has a muscle injury. Hinchcliffe: “I notice that Schar was off the pitch with that injury but got back onto the pitch to get treatment.”
Apparently Mourinho had the hump with Schar recently because the Swiss defender was eating up game time. Perhaps he’s just a timewaster by nature.
42 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Almiron has a scratch on his face. He’s moaning the ref, presumably about Ndidi’s manicurist. Blood and thunder stuff up on Tyneside.
41 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Almiron has had a whack in the face. Ndidi flinging an arm. He’s worked hard, Miggy A.
39 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Fafana up for a ball with Wilson. The latter pulls out, knowing that he will not get there, but Fafana nevertheless lands awkwardly.
37 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Maddison at the centre of things as LCFC put together the most high class move of the match. It is played out to the left where Castagne crosses but Barnes is so quick that he’s ahead of the ball when it is struck, so it hits him!
34 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Not an un-enjoyable match but not a massive amount happening.
Here is a more familiar Leicester move. Youri Tielemans with the early direct ball to Vardy, but JV cannot gather on this occasion. Good run though.
34 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Wilson busying himself down the left wing. Played inside. LCFC have it now and Ndidi slows the game down. Newcastle afforded time to set and regroup.
33 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
S Longstaff crosses but Justin heads it out at the expense of a throw deep in LCFC territory. But they win it back.
32 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Yedlin uses all of his extreme pace to tear back and stop Barnes after the latter made good progress down the left. Some might have blown that as a foul. I like a laissez faire ref, personally. It’s not like there is any edge in the game to speak of.
30 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
He seems to be okay, Maddison.
It’s an even game. Newcastle doing well. Their front two not seeing much of the ball. Almiron has been a busy bee.
27 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Maddison has got a sore one. Looks like he trod on the ball. Andy Hinchcliffe on Sky comms is talking hyper-extended knees and ligaments. Hope it is not that. He’s up and walking gingerly along the touchline.
24 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Newcastle pressure Leicester into giving it away. Newcastle’s 523 seems to be working okay.
23 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Ref seems quite lenient. Almiron and Albrighton have both arguably been fouled.
21 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Good play at the back from Leicester, taking their time and perhaps thinking to take control of the game, because the hosts are playing with some heart.
18 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
LCFC have a corner but comes to little.
Now Peter’s lad is rushing out the goal here for some exemplary sweeper-keeper work. He was miles out of the goal – almost on the half way line!
17 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
But here is a good moment as Almiron, who looks bright, links up well with Fernandez. Cross comes in. Joelinton heads but easy for the keeper.
16 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
A useful spell for Newcastle, plenty of the ball and passing it around okay but not a lot of link between Wilson and the rest of the team.
12 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Maddison gets it between the lines, Newcastle are playing a high line here. Maddison slips it to Vardy, he rounds the keeper and nets this time. But again offside. Shame, because it was a finish out of the top drawer.
10 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Leicester should have had it in the net. Tielemans played it forward to Vardy, on the shoulder of the last man. He’s into the box but delays his shot, slips it instead to Tielemans, who also dallies a bit too long. Oh, it is eventually revealed to have been offside anyway. But unusual hesitancy from JV.
8 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Leicester have won 19 points on their travels this season, they most of any side. Their counterpunching style certainly seems well suited for away games, but it’s LCFC who are making more of the running here I suppose.
6 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
Joelinton has a back injury. Maddison also got a knock a minute ago but seems okay. Big Joe up and able to run it off by the looks of things.
4 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
M Longstaff loses it to Ndidi. And Maddison pinches it from the breakdown and hits a shot not far wide.
1 mins: Newcastle 0 Leicester 0
This is pretty much Leicester’s first XI. They have the ball down the right. Newcastle look like they are going to try and press quite high up.
has been involved in 11 of Newcastles goals either as scorer or via an assist – that’s 65% of them. Only Kane at Spurs has been more pivotal. Good stat from Sky to illustrate how vital the forward is to his team’s hopes.
Leicester team titbits
Schmeichel is playing his 500th game in England. Evans is 33. Maddison on the fitness comeback.
was in fine form for NUFC last time. Hayden was booked in that match against the Champions, meaning that the Longstaff boys play in the centre of the midfield.
Ah Roy Keane is in
on Sky. “Leicester will get a lot of possession, they will get a lot of enjoyment up at Newcastle.”
Keane also notes that Brendan has been able to make seven changes.
Who do you fancy then?
The visitors begin the match as warmish favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers; 8-13 to come away with all three points.
Good to see
a brace of Longstaffs in for the hosts. Big Joe Linton presumably used in a two up front with Callum Wilson, Newcastle look like they will have a bit of a go. Strong looking Leicester will, as ever, be a handful with their direct running and their counter-attacking style.
Newcastle: Darlow, Yedlin, Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Ritchie, Almiron, Sean Longstaff, Matthew Longstaff, Joelinton, Wilson. Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Carroll, Shelvey, Gayle, Hendrick, Krafth, Manquillo, Murphy.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Evans, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy. Subs: Soyuncu, Ward, Iheanacho, Perez, Amartey, Under, Mendy, Praet, Thomas.
Referee: Rob Jones (Northumberland)
Newcastle coming up!
Good afternoon, hope you’re having a pleasant Sunday. Thanks for joining me for our first live football blog of the day, Newcastle Untied vs Leicester City. The match kicks off at 2.15pm and we will have all the team news an hour before kick off in the traditional stylee.
It’s the first game we are blogging today because Burnley vs Fulham has been called off. The Turf Moor fixture is the fourth match in the Premier League to fall foul of Covid. One of this afternoon’s participants, Newcastle have seen a fixture postponed already: that was Newcastle vs Aston Villa on December 1st. The Premier League table currently has a bit of a non-League feel, with some teams having played significantly more matches than others. For instance, Manchester City, who play later today, have only completed 14 fixtures whereas Arsenal have played 17 times. All of which means that League positions should be treated with some caution but Newcastle are in 15th place with 19 points and could certainly do with climbing away from the relegation scrap. It seems pretty clear that there are at least three teams worse than Steve Bruce’s battlers but even still.
I was really struck by Bruce’s quotes on Covid and how tough it has been on his players. Pretty scary when super fit young guys find themselves needing a lie-down after a walk. Serious business, and hope they all come through it okay. Brucey’s message for the rest of the season is that the club simply has to stay in the League and that’s all they are focusing on. That said, at least one player has his eyes on the horizon: keeper Karl Darlow is being mentioned in dispatches as a possible England call-up after some fine form and an excellent display against mighty Liverpool.
Leicester of course are contesting the season at the right end of the table. They are on 29 points, as are Spurs and Everton, with Liverpool and Manchester United both on 33 points. Due to the vagaries of the live blog rota I’ve only watched them a couple of times this year so looking forward to this one. They had much the better of it against Palace the other day but had to settle for a draw. They also shared the points with MUFC on Boxing Day and I am pretty sure they will fancy their chances of getting back to winning ways later. We shall see!