Newcastle United, who are vying for the Champions League, welcome sinking Leicester City to Tyneside for Monday night’s Premier League matchup.

This will be the final time this season that Newcastle will take the field in front of a boisterous St James’ Park.

Midweek, Eddie Howe’s team thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1, while the Foxes’ chances of surviving were dealt yet another devastating blow in a 3-0 loss to Liverpool.

Newcastle hasn’t dined at Europe’s top table since the 2002–03 campaign, and despite Saturday’s results keeping them in third place, a point on Monday would guarantee a top–four finish courtesy of Liverpool’s draw with Aston Villa.

For a Newcastle team that had been defeated by Leeds United and Arsenal in their previous two game weeks, the manner in which Brighton destroyed them was exactly what the doctor ordered.

However, after nine games without a clean sheet in the Premier League, Howe’s team can no longer boast that they are the division’s most stingy defense because their 32 goals conceded have been surpassed by Manchester City’s 31 ahead of the champions’ match against Chelsea.

But the Magpies have won five of their past six games at St. James’ Park and seven of their last nine home games this season, coming into Monday’s final home Premier League match.

Leicester City can no longer catch Nottingham Forest thanks to their victory over Arsenal, but Everton’s draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers means that the Foxes could move out of the relegation zone with a win if Leeds United fails to beat West Ham United on Sunday.

Some cautious optimism was spurred by a brief three-game unbeaten streak between the end of April and the beginning of May, but it has since been replaced by steadfast pessimism among the Foxes supporters who have seen their team give up eight goals in their previous 180 minutes of play.

Smith’s team has also amassed a disgraceful seven-game winless streak on the road, despite scoring in each of their last five away games, and they have dropped their last three meetings with Newcastle, most recently losing 2-0 in the EFL Cup quarterfinals at St James’ Park to exit the competition.

 

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