Newcastle v Leicester: This is what Rafa Benitez needs to prepare for

Rafa Benitez's Newcastle are still searching for a first win of the season as they prepare to host Leicester City this weekend.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 27th September 2018, 2:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 3:07 pm
Leicester City will prove a stern test for Newcastle
Leicester City will prove a stern test for Newcastle

The Magpies were handed a tough start to the season and have yet to pick up maximum points having faced-off against some of the league's leading lights.

But a hard-fought draw against Crystal Palace last weekend will provide hope that a victory is just around the corner.

And it could come this weekend as Claude Puel's Foxes prepare to visit St James's Park - but what should Benitez expect from his visitors this Saturday?

Our scout report takes an in-depth look at Leicester City...

What system will Leicester play?

Leicester will likely line-up in a 4-2-3-1 system in what should replicate the formation utilised by Rafa Benitez.

There's pace and power aplenty in the forward line, while the midfield offer a reliable and dynamic base which offers protection for the back four and acts as a driving force when pushing forward.

Behind them, an experienced backline will prove tough to break down and the safe hands of Kasper Schmeichel will prove difficult to beat too.

Who are Leicester's key players?

The lively and prolific Jamie Vardy is naturally one to watch and Newcastle will be keen to ensure the frontman has a limited impact on this game.

Behind him, Kelechi Iheanacho is always a threat and summer signing James Maddison has enjoyed a fruitful start to life at the King Power stadium.

Centre backs Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans also play a key role for the Foxes, as too does the ever-reliable Schmeichel.

Do Leicester have any injury worries?

The Foxes have a fairly clean bill of health, with just two players sidelined for the trip to the North East.

Midfielder Matty James will miss out, while Demarai Gray has been confirmed to miss the next 3-6 weeks.

Who is Leicester's manager and what can we expect from them?

Claude Puel is the man in the hotseat at Leicester City, and the Frenchman has developed a reputation for playing attractive and possession-based football.

The Foxes can go direct if necessary, especially when looking to get Vardy in behind the oppositon backline, but will prioritise keeping the ball where possible.

Puel's side will be fairly fluid going forward and he encourages his troops to showcase their own individual flair in the final third.

That, coupled with their raw ability up top, makes Leicester a difficult opposition to defend against.

What form have Leicester been in?

It’s been a fairly solid start to the season for Puel's side who have lost just three times in the league - with two of those defeats coming against Liverpool and Manchester United.

The Foxes comprehensively beat Huddersfield last weekend and then claimed a penalty triumph over Wolves in midweek, keeping alive their good form of late.

And they will be keen to keep building on a start which sees them sat 9th in the Premier League with nine points.

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