Paul Merson predicts Newcastle United v Leicester City
Paul Merson has been looking ahead to Newcastle v Leicester on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez has been boosted with the news that Christian Atsu and Paul Dummett are now available after recovering from injury.
Whilst Jamaal Lascelles has now trained the last three days and says he is hoping to be also up for selection.
However, the respective positions of the two clubs at this moment in time, was shown up by a Checkatrade Trophy match in midweek.
Whilst Rafa Benitez has had to rely on £5m Stoke reserve ‘bargain’ signing Joselu most of this season, Claude Puel played six overage players for the Under 21s because they can’t get a game at the minute.
One player was an out of contract signing but the other five represent some £62m worth of talent, with £25m summer signing Kelechi Iheanacho amongst them.
He looked an ideal signing for Newcastle as they desperately needed to add goals in the summer but sadly way beyond what Rafa could afford with only an £11.5m net spend.
The former Man City striker has only started two matches as he has to compete with the likes of Vardy, Slimani, Musa, Okazaki and Ulloa (who also played for the Under 21s).
With the last two games bringing wins over Burnley and Tottenham, confidence is also returning to a Leicester squad that was underperforming.
Paul Merson says that after six games without a win Newcastle ‘really need a win here’ but predicts it to be seven games without a win for Rafa Benitez by 7.30pm on Saturday.
A lot of pace in the Leicester side that Rafa Benitez will need to counter and this week he explained how important Dwight Gayle’s pace is for Newcastle at the other end, the United boss stating how vital the number nine is for his preferred formation, being the only quick striker he has got.
For supporters they will hope Jamaal Lascelles is fit enough to start and will generally be hoping that a way is found for both Merino and Shelvey to play in the same team.
With Everton at home following on Wednesday, these look a vital few days for Newcastle United, and hopefully Paul Merson is wide of the mark with his predicted 2-1 away victory.
“Newcastle are not on a good run at the moment, and they really need a win here, but Leicester are a dangerous team.
“Newcastle will have to go at Leicester, and they could be picked off, like Bournemouth did to them.
“Leicester have bought into Claude Puel’s thinking.
“Jamie Vardy is back and Riyad Mahrez looks like he fancies it again. Away win.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Leicester 2.”
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