Verdict: Newcastle win
Best Odds: 1/2
Looking to extend on what has become a remarkable run of form, Newcastle will welcome Leeds to St. James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, making their return from the World Cup’s winter break with another stellar display on Boxing Day as they cruised their way to a 3-0 romp away at Leicester, the mood in Newcastle’s camp is at a red-hot high. Only continuing to gain a string of plaudits from across the Premier League, Eddie Howe’s men now have their sights firmly set on claiming a famous top-four finish. Looking to sign off 2022 with another flurry on home soil, the former Bournemouth boss has seen his side suffer just a single top-flight defeat this season. Along with heading into the festive break with an eye-catching 1-0 victory at home against Chelsea, Newcastle have quickly gained a reputation for their rugged displays at the back. Rightfully tipped as a standout pick on New Year’s Eve, the Magpies have shipped just 11 Premier League strikes so far this season – the best defensive tally in England’s top-tier.
After missing out on Boxing Day, Newcastle are hopeful that attacking talisman Callum Wilson could make his return on Saturday afternoon. The England international could come in and replace Chris Wood.
However, the Magpies have confirmed that they will be without the likes of Alexander Isak, Paul Dummet, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie on New Year’s Eve.
As for the visitors, while Leeds might have clung to their Premier League status last season, it appears that the Yorkshire-based outfit are destined for another bottom-three scrap in 2023. Eventually getting hit with a 3-1 loss at home against defending champions Manchester City earlier in the week on their return from the World Cup break, Jesse Marsch’s side now hold just a two-point buffer over slipping into the drop zone. With it looking like the former RB Leipzig boss could have some pressure on his shoulders, the Whites have managed to muster just a pair of wins from their last 12 Premier League appearances. Knowing that they will face another tough test on Saturday afternoon, fans around Elland Road will have a headache over their side’s extended problems at the back. Along with heading into the festive interval with a 4-3 loss away at Tottenham last month, Marsch’s men have recorded just a sole clean sheet since back on August 21st.
In what is a real boost for Leeds this weekend, USA skipper Tyler Adams is set to make his return after serving a one-match suspension. However, Patrick Bamford looks set to once again miss out on Saturday afternoon.
Settling for a spot on the bench against Manchester City earlier in the week, Crysencio Summerville will be hoping for a full recall at St. James’ Park.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last faced off back on January 22nd, Newcastle picked up a 1-0 victory at Elland Road.
- Leeds have won just a pair of their last 12 Premier League matchups – a run that stems back to August 21st.
- Newcastle have won each of their previous six Premier League appearances by an aggregate score of 16-2.
- Likewise, the Magpies have lost just one of their 16 Premier League showdowns so far this season.
- Howe’s side have also conceded just 11 top-flight strikes this season – the best-defensive tally in England’s top-flight.
Marking their return from the World Cup break with a thumping 3-0 victory away at Leicester on Boxing Day, Newcastle should be smelling another golden chance here. Winning each of their last six Premier League showdowns and sat in pole position to claim a famous top-four finish, Howe’s high-flying squad will be looking to cash in on a struggling Leeds squad. With Saturday’s guests claiming just a pair of top-flight wins from their last 12 attempts, the Magpies are rightfully tipped as a standout pick this weekend. Claiming a 1-0 victory when they last faced off against the relegation scrappers back in January, we’re expecting a similar home win here.
Verdict: Newcastle win
Best Odds: 1/2