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Sky Sports expert’s verdict – ‘Leicester I have no faith in defensively’ opens up Newcastle opportunities

1 month ago
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The Sky Sports column ‘Jones Knows’ has given some excellent analysis and commentary on what is currently happening at Newcastle United.

The column makes predictions on what will happen at certain Premier League matches and also debates other matters / issues at clubs as well.

However, unlike the usual ex-pro predictions, that are usually simply based on how ‘big’ a club is and whether or not they won the previous game, this one has proper analysis and insight, not lazy assumptions.

The Sky Sports ‘Jones Knows’ column looks at the matches from a betting perspective and has been concentrating on Newcastle’s game against Leicester.

Lewis Jones (who is the Sky Sports expert behind the ‘Jones Knows’ column) has highlighted some major underlying factors that could / should have a big bearing on this Leicester v Newcastle game.

With the home side his analysis is: ‘Leicester remain a team I have no faith in defensively…They rank near the bottom in all the main defensive categories. Only Newcastle have faced more shots (235) and only Norwich and Watford have faced more shots on target (78). They have not kept a clean sheet in their last 16 matches across all competitions. And, the two goals shipped to Ezri Konsa in the defeat at Villa, means it’s now 10 goals conceded from set pieces – the joint-most with Palace.’

As for the visitors, the Sky Sports expert says that: ‘Teams that move the ball quickly through the phases are finding opportunities easy to come by. Newcastle have shown already under Eddie Howe that the key to their survival will be utilising their difference makers in attack. They have the tools to make this a difficult afternoon for the Foxes, whose preparations won’t have been helped by their trip to Napoli in midweek and growing cases of Covid within the camp.’

The Sky Sports man though, still finds it difficult to have confidence in Newcastle United being able to take advantage…’I’m happy to take Leicester on at odds-on but their attack has the ability to slice through a flaky Newcastle defence, too. That means I have no strong urge to back a positive Newcastle result either.’

He ends up predicting a 2-2 draw but I think that whilst his points are totally fair, Newcastle United are showing definite improvement under Eddie Howe, including at the back. NUFC have only conceded one goal in almost the last four hours of football and that was when playing most of the Norwich match with ten men. Whilst Leicester conceded another three against Napoli on Thursday night, meaning at least two goals conceded in five of their last six matches.

Leicester are looking really open to teams running at them and last weekend the likes of ASM, Wilson and the returning Almiron all looked dangerous on that front. Hopefully more of the same today, if you remember it was only May when Newcastle went to Leicester and went 4-0 up!

The Sky Sports man does concentrate though on a big advantage Newcastle can have with corners: ‘Since Howe arrived, the Toon’s more adventurous approach can be seen through the amount of corners being won. Against Brentford they won eight and they won 10 in the win over Burnley. Facing a defensively shot team like Leicester should yield the same type of numbers…’

Even at Arsenal, despite the home side having far more possession, Newcastle still matched them 4 v 4 on corners.

No Premier League club has conceded more goals from headers than Leicester and nobody more than the Foxes when it comes to set-pieces.

Newcastle’s set-pieces have been much improved since Howe’s arrival, the movement and delivery into the box. Lascelles scoring against Brentford from a corner and a decent number of other chances created.

Plenty of optimism that Newcastle can get opportunities both running at Leicester and from set-pieces.

If that is matched by further improvement on the defensive side, it gives a very positive possibility of what could happen at the King Power this afternoon.

Sky Sports – Betting expert ‘Jones Knows’ predicts what will happen with Arsenal v Newcastle:

“Leicester remain a team I have no faith in defensively.

“Brendan Rodgers has got his attacking process moving in the right direction but the whole defensive structure of the team is wobbly to say the least.

“They rank near the bottom in all the main defensive categories. Only Newcastle have faced more shots (235) and only Norwich and Watford have faced more shots on target (78). They have not kept a clean sheet in their last 16 matches across all competitions. And, the two goals shipped to Ezri Konsa in the defeat at Villa, means it’s now 10 goals conceded from set pieces – the joint-most with Palace.

“Teams that move the ball quickly through the phases are finding opportunities easy to come by. Newcastle have shown already under Eddie Howe that the key to their survival will be utilising their difference makers in attack. They have the tools to make this a difficult afternoon for the Foxes, whose preparations won’t have been helped by their trip to Napoli in midweek and growing cases of Covid within the camp.

“I’m happy to take Leicester on at odds-on but their attack has the ability to slice through a flaky Newcastle defence, too.

“That means I have no strong urge to back a positive Newcastle result either. Mind you, I do want to get involved in Newcastle’s corner count in this one, with them to win the corner count with a +2 handicap at Evens – meaning we’ll get a return if Newcastle win more corners, have the same amount of corners or have one less corner than the hosts.

“Since Howe arrived, the Toon’s more adventurous approach can be seen through the amount of corners being won. Against Brentford they won eight and they won 10 in the win over Burnley. Facing a defensively shot team like Leicester should yield the same type of numbers and that will be enough to bag the Evens shot.

“Prediction is Leicester 2 Newcastle 2

“Betting angle: Newcastle +2 corner handicap (Evens with Sky Bet)”

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