Leicester v Newcastle | Friday 12th April 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Brendan Rodgers’ strong start as Leicester manager has gone slightly under the radar. His first match in charge ended with a last-minute defeat to his former club Watford but since then he’s seen his side win four on the bounce.
It maybe hasn’t gotten the column inches because of the quality of opposition the Foxes have come up against. The victories came over teams in 13th, 14th, 19th and 20th and they welcome another bottom-half dweller in Newcastle to the King Power on Friday night.
Leicester are a more attacking outfit under Rodgers and there’s a youthful look to their midfield, which is refreshing for the Foxes’ faithful. Youri Tielemans has added dynamism and he’s another attacking threat, it’s no surprise that the goals are flying for them with Harvey Barnes, Demerai Gray, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy all in the starting line-up.
Rafa Benitez has once again shown his class manoeuvring the Magpies out of the relegation mire. With minimal backing from the hierarchy, the ex-Liverpool and Valencia gaffer has managed a tune out of Salomon Rondon and brought in a touch of class in Miguel Almiron.
The Toon are now seven points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff but Rafa has admitted there is still plenty to do. Nevertheless, that cushion will ease anxieties on Tyneside. It’s been his modus operandi to soak up the pressure and try to nick a goal when they get the chance, however it’s not been a successful experiment away from home thus far.
Newcastle have only beaten Burnley and Huddersfield on the road and both of those were by the single goal. They do manage to get a few draws at the lesser lights but their record away against top-half teams makes for poor reading.
The betting angle
The hosts are rightful favourites, in my eyes, but 8/11 looks too skinny to get involved with. Instead, I’ll chuck in Over 1 goal alongside a home win using Bet365’s BetBuilder which garners a much more attractive 6/5 quote. This bet has landed in five of their last six Leicester games in the Premier League.
The Foxes’ record against the bottom-half is strong, and as mentioned, Newcastle struggle against the better sides on their travels. Goals have been a feature since Rodgers took charge and I’d expect them to go attacking in an aggressive manner once more.
This could leave space for the likes of Almiron and Ayoze Perez to exploit on the break, especially given the fact Foxes’ fullbacks Ricardo Periera and Ben Chillwell like to bomb on. Having said that, I simply expect the home side to outscore the Toon.
I’ve also been tempted in by a tasty 3/1 shot in SkyBet’s ‘Request-A-Bet’ market: Leicester to Score 2+ Goals, Leicester to have 5+ Corners and Newcastle to collect 20+ Booking Points.
This same bet is shorter than 5/2 elsewhere and makes plenty of appeal. Leicester fans have been crying out for forward-thinking football and that is now being delivered. I expect them to come out with that mindset and pile the pressure on. With that corners should come, especially with the amount of shots they get off from the likes of Maddison, Barnes and Tielemans. Those same players are tricky to mark and regularly pick up fouls meaning the away side could see a couple of cautions.