Why Leicester look likely to close the gap on Newcastle United

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Nigel Pearson may have made the headlines for his post-match rant of sorts, but the Leicester manager’s theatrics overshadowed what was a spirited performance from the Foxes against the soon-to-be crowned champions.

The Premier League new boys were never expecting to get anything out of a fixture with Chelsea though and should go into Saturday’s relegation six-pointer against Newcastle with some confidence.

Hosts and in superior form to the Magpies, here are just five reasons you should be backing a Leicester win at the King Power Stadium this weekend.

The Foxes’ winning run

Prior to their 3-1 defeat against the Blues, Leicester had enjoyed a sensational run of four consecutive wins in the Premier League to lift them out of the relegation zone having been seven points adrift at the start of April.

That run has included an impressive 2-0 triumph over high-flying Swansea and hard-fought wins against West Ham and West Brom.

A Champions League winner

Many an eyebrow was raised after the Foxes brought Inter Milan veteran Esteban Cambiasso on board last summer but the 34-year-old has shown his true worth over the last few weeks.

An ever present in the midfield during Leicester’s revival, the one-time Real Madrid star has scored once and set up another as part of a series of virtuoso displays. With talk of a new contract on offer if the club stay up, Cambiasso could prove his value yet again this weekend.

The Magpies’ miserable form

Last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at home to Swansea saw Newcastle break their own record with what was their seventh consecutive defeat in the Premier League.

Bottom of the form table in the top-flight at present, the Magpies are also struggling for goals with just four scored during their recent terrible run. They have also shipped an alarming 15 in their last seven games, making a win for the Foxes all the more likely.

The FA Cup dress rehearsal

Newcastle may have got the better of Leicester when these two met earlier in the season at St James’ Park but the Foxes have already shown they are capable of turning the Toon over on their own patch.

The two teams met each other in the third round of this season’s FA Cup, with Leicester claiming a 1-0 win that was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. A similar story could play out here.

Newcastle’s notable absentees

The suspension of Newcastle’s top scorer Papiss Cisse for this game is problematic enough, but John Carver is also without as many as five first-team players ahead of a tricky trip to the King Power stadium.

Throw into that the fact that others like Ryan Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez and Sammy Ameobi are playing despite reportedly being told their future lies away from the club and you have both a squad and team that looks unlikely to test Leicester too much.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.