Sky Sports host and Hartlepool fan, Jeff Stelling, has given his verdict on the Newcastle v Leicester clash this afternoon.
Stelling says he is going against the weight of popular opinion with his prediction on today’s result at St James Park.
Sky have a predictions competition and the most popular prediction from punters is a 2-1 scoreline in favour of Leicester.
However, Jeff Stelling has gone for a 1-0 victory to Newcastle.
Amusingly, it is Newcastle United’s defence that the TV host is relying on, with him pointing to the clean sheets against Stoke and Bournemouth as the reason for backing United.
As Stelling points out, historically Newcastle have generally done well against Leicester but more modern history sees the Foxes having beaten Newcastle twice this calendar year. In the FA Cup in January and an embarrassingly one-sided 3-0 defeat in May.
Attacking-wise, Leicester are a totally different proposition to boring Stoke and shot-shy Bournemouth.
If Newcastle are to win 1-0 as Jeff Stelling predicts, then it means they have to stop a Leicester side scoring who have managed goals in every one of their 12 Premier League matches this season. Plus they are unbeaten on the road with three wins and three draws.
As Stelling points out, the big talking point is whether Jamie Vardy plays today and if so, can he make it 10 scoring PL games in a row?
“I can understand their thinking.
“The big question is the fitness of Jamie Vardy. If Claudio Ranieri has any doubts over the England man will he risk him or will he start on the bench?
“Newcastle historically have a great record against Leicester in the league, winning 14 of the last 16, including the last five on the bounce.
“I get the feeling Newcastle are turning the corner under Steve McClaren. They have kept consecutive cleans sheets and that’s why I’m going for a Newcastle win.”
Most popular prediction: 32% of people predict Newcastle 1-2 Leicester City
Jeff Stelling predicts: Newcastle 1-0 Leicester City
(***Photo above just for illustration, it has snowed overnight on Tyneside but not quite this bad!)