Newcastle and Leicester City go head-to-head at St. James’ Park as Alan Pardew looks to take the Toon Army out of their Premier League rut.
Both teams are coming off the back of 2-2 draws in their last matches. For the Magpies, Papiss Cisse is seemingly on a one-man mission to keep Alan Pardew in the job. It must be a strange sensation for a section of Newcastle fans (if you haven’t already seen it, check out the www.sackpardew.com website to get a feeling of what has been going on) to watch their team play at the moment.
On the one hand, they’ll be wanting their team to do well, while on the other hand they want to get rid of Alan Pardew. The manager should be thanking his lucky stars that Cisse has suddenly found his scoring touch, rescuing a point with two goals in their last home game against Hull, as well as the draw at Swansea.
Cisse had a torrid time of it last season, scoring only two league goals and he’s come into form just when Pardew has needed it most. Tim Krul and Daryl Janmaat picked up knocks during international duty, but both are expected to be fit to lineup as Newcastle face a potentially tricky afternoon.
Leicester will have been disappointed to draw with Burnley last time around, conceding an equalizer with virtually the last kick of the game. Having come off the back of their magnificent 5-3 victory over Man Utd, they were brought back down to a earth by Crystal Palace, so they’d have been hoping that a struggling Burnley would have been an opportunity to get back to winning ways. As mentioned previously in this column, those are the type of games that Leicester need to target in order to build on the unexpected points tally they garnered from an opening set of fixtures that even the top four would have found difficult.
Nigel Pearson has said that he wants to assess the condition of Riyad Mahrez and Jeffrey Schlupp after both have tough travel schedules for Ghana and Algeria respectively over the past week.
A tricky game for Newcastle as they continue the search for their first league win of the season. Leicester have tended to save their better performances for the bigger games this season, but they’ll be confident of picking up a point here.
Newcastle 1-1 Leicester
Gavin Bergin, Pundit Arena.