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Betting preview: Leicester - Newcastle

Leicester City will look to keep the pressure on Burnley in the race for seventh spot when they welcome Newcastle United to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Foxes would have been fearing defeat when Brighton and Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray stepped up to take a penalty in their previous Premier League encounter, but Kasper Schmeichel dived to his left and palmed the spot-kick away. Things got even better for Claude Puel’s men soon after, Vicente Iborra heading home the opening goal in the 83rd minute, before Jamie Vardy made certain of the points deep into second-half stoppage time. It was an excellent win which saw Leicester build on their 4-1 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion earlier in March, with the 2015/16 title winners remaining just three points behind Burnley in the battle for what is likely to be the final Europa League qualification spot. Puel has done a fine job since being appointed by the Foxes in October and the former Southampton head coach will be desperate to see his side climb above the Clarets in the coming weeks.

Newcastle’s victory over Huddersfield Town last time out was perhaps even more important, with Ayoze Perez’s late strike moving the Magpies seven points clear of the drop zone. Their survival mission is not yet complete but there is no denying that such a margin looks very healthy indeed at this late stage of the campaign, and Rafael Benitez would presumably have taken this position had he been offered it at the start of the season. The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager will not rest on his laurels until it is mathematically impossible for Newcastle to fall through the trap door, however, and he is likely to favour a somewhat cautious approach at the King Power this weekend. The northeast outfit have now kept back-to-back clean sheets in the top flight, although they have not won any of their last four games away from St James’ Park.

Leicester remain without Matty James (Achilles) and Daniel Amartey (hamstring) for Saturday’s showdown, while Wilfred Ndidi will miss out through suspension after his red card against Brighton. Adrien Silva is the most likely candidate to replace the Nigeria international in the centre of midfield, but Puel may otherwise stick with the same XI which began last weekend’s victory. That would mean Shinji Okazaki linking midfield and attack behind Vardy, with Marc Albrighton and Riyad Mahrez providing creativity from their starting positions on the flanks.

Newcastle could welcome back Joselu from an ankle problem, but Jesus Gamez (ankle) and Rob Elliot (back) remain sidelined and Leicester loanee Islam Slimani is ineligible against his parent club. Perez and Dwight Gayle will once link up at the top of the pitch, while Matt Ritchie and Kenedy will be tasked with supplying the ammunition from out wide; in the centre of the park, meanwhile, Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey will have to contribute to all phases of the game.

Leicester will be made to work hard on Saturday, but they should have enough quality to get the job done in front of their own supporters. A wager on a home win and fewer than 2.5 goals in total could be the way to go here.

England - Premier League Leicester City vs Newcastle United 07 April, 14:00 GMT 0

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