Matt Ritchie

Opposition View: Magpies Looking For Defensive Solidity

Mark Douglas, Newcastle United editor of The Chronicle, has provided a tactical insight into the Magpies ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leicester City to St James’ Park (5:30pm kick-off).

- The Newcastle United editor of The Chronical previews Saturday's meeting between the Magpies and Leicester City
- Mark Douglas says Newcastle are capable of a winning run, so long as they repair defensive problems
- The hosts will be wary of Leicester's attacking threats, Douglas tells LCFC Radio's Matchday Live 
- You can listen to live and free coverage of the clash on LCFC Radio from 4:30pm on the LCFC.com Match Centre

Rafael Benítez has stated his desire to improve the North East side’s defence and, ahead of a clash with an in-form Foxes outfit, the hosts face a stern challenge of their top flight credentials.

Speaking to LCFC Radio, Douglas, who has watched Newcastle closely this term, says their ability to shut City out at the back is key to their chances against the 2016 champions.

“Newcastle’s season so far has been a rollercoaster,” he told Matchday Live. “It started with back-to-back defeats which followed a summer when the manager wasn’t happy with the recruitment.

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Newcastle 0 Leicester City 3

Watch all the goals from City's last visit to St James' Park which ended in a 3-0 victory for the midlands outfit.

“They then went on a bit of a winning run and were touching the top six. Everybody was getting a little ahead of themselves, but the truth is that they are somewhere in between the top and the bottom.

“The run they’re on now, without a win in seven, probably doesn’t quite reflect the strength in the team. They are not as bad as that would suggest but they need results.

“The problem we expected before the season was a lack of goals and that has been their Achilles heel so far. The manager is trying to rectify that.

We know Leicester have pace and power so there is a few worries around Newcastle concerning how they will counteract that.

Mark Douglas Speaking on LCFC Radio

“We know there is a big gulf in the league and the top priority for Newcastle is survival but anything above that would make it a thoroughly satisfactory season.”

While Newcastle have also struggled to find the net in recent weeks, Douglas believes City have attacking players capable of hurting Benítez’s side.

“Undoubtedly, the defensive solidity they had at the beginning of the season has gone,” he added.

Expand photo
Rafa Benítez
Rafa Benítez

“They certainly weren't a reincarnation of Kevin Keegan’s entertainers, but they didn’t concede. They have played better teams in the past few weeks which hasn’t helped.

“It will always be a problem for a team like Newcastle. They’ve had injury problems, too, so, if they lose a few players, it can be tough but the main thing they need to do is get that solidity back.

“We know Leicester have pace and power so there are a few worries around Newcastle concerning how they will counteract that.”

Foxes fans can follow the action for free from 4:30pm on LCFC Radio.

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