Howe calls on Saint-Maximin in the predicted Newcastle XI vs Leicester game

Newcastle United return to the Premier League after losing to Leicester City on Boxing Day. So HITC Football predicted who will make Eddie Howes XI.

The Toon will not have wanted the top season to be interrupted ahead of Qatar 2022. Howe has managed a sensational season at Tyneside so far, with the Magpies finishing third in the table. They and leaders Arsenal are also the only teams to have lost just one game so far.

Howe’s men, who scored 29 goals in 15 games, recorded eight wins and six draws, ensured that Newcastle also produced fourth-best offense. Only Manchester City (40), Arsenal (33) and Tottenham Hotspur (31) score more. No side conceded less than Newcastle or the Gunners (11).

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Newcastle should have a near-full squad to choose from when they visit Leicester on Boxing Day. But Howe confirmed £63million Alexander Isak is ‘probably’ unfit to perform at King Power Stadium while he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Emil Krafth is also yet to recover from the cruciate ligament injury he sustained at Tranmere Rovers in the EFL Cup on August 24th. But The Shields Gazette reports that Joelinton should be fit after a hamstring problem. Callum Wilson is also ready to take on the Foxes on Boxing Day.

In addition, Howe should have Allan Saint-Maximin available after the winger was used in the EFL Cup against AFC Bournemouth. The Frenchman was doubtful for the Toons’ 1-0 win on Tuesday after appearing unwell in the last friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Eddie Howe makes two changes in our predicted Newcastle XI vs Leicester

With Howe set to take on Leicester on Boxing Day with almost a full-strength Newcastle squad, HITC Football have predicted the Magpies boss will make two changes to his recent Premier League XI. The Toon last saw action on November 12, when they beat Chelsea 1-0.

Nick Pope will retain his place in the Newcastle net after a stunning start to the goalkeeper’s career at Tyneside. Their £12m summer signing from Burnley is also hoping to record his eighth clean sheet. The 30-year-old has saved seven out of 15 Premier League games so far.

HITC Football have also predicted Howe will select an unchanged defense for Newcastle’s XI at Leicester. Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn have emerged as the Toon’s primary backline this season. So it’s unlikely that Matt Targett will get his recall now.

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Allan Saint-Maximin starts while Eddie Howe rotates his midfield and attacks

However, changes are likely in midfield as Joelinton returns to a deeper role from his left wing duties against Chelsea. Howe no longer needs the Brazilian available in an advanced area with Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman has not started a league game since August.

But Saint-Maximin could now join their King Power line-up alongside a return for Wilson. Chris Wood led the Toon attack against Chelsea, with Howe Wilson only fielding from the bench. But the England striker is the Magpies’ No9 when fit.

Miguel Almiron is also now one of the top names on Howe’s squad list. The Paraguayan is Newcastle’s top scorer ahead of Wilson (6) after scoring eight goals ahead of the World Cup. So Leicester could be faced with arguably the best front-three options from Newcastle on Boxing Day.

In midfield, Sean Longstaff unfortunately misses Joelinton coming on alongside Bruno Guimaraes and Joe Willock. The Toon product has already delivered some tireless displays this season. But craftsmanship still isn’t at the top of the pecking order.

HITC Football’s Newcastle XI vs Leicester Prediction: Pope (TG); Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Willock, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin

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https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/12/25/howe-makes-saint-maximin-call-in-predicted-newcastle-xi-vs-leicester/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=howe-makes-saint-maximin-call-in-predicted-newcastle-xi-vs-leicester Howe calls on Saint-Maximin in the predicted Newcastle XI vs Leicester game

Sarah Ridley

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