Newcastle v Leicester preview: Rafael Benitez seeking first win of season
Demarai Gray and Salomon Rondon to miss match through injury
Last Updated: 30/09/18 7:34am
Newcastle are still seeking their first win of the Premier League season when they welcome Leicester to St James' Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Last weekend's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace means Rafael Benitez's side have only picked up two points from their opening six matches and start the weekend in the relegation zone.
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The Newcastle boss says he is confident of turning things around against a "very good" Leicester team, but admits he is putting himself under pressure to pick up three points.
He said: "The pressure to get a win is just the pressure we put on us. We want our first win and then to go on a run. We'll hopefully have more chances at St James' Park than if we are away."
Leicester, who beat Huddersfield 3-1 last weekend, start the weekend in ninth and progressed to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after a penalty shoot-out win over Wolves in midweek, and manager Claude Puel expects a tough test on Saturday afternoon.
He said: "Newcastle United have a fantastic stadium with 55,000 people and a big atmosphere. They don't concede a lot of goals, are tough to play against and win battles."
Newcastle forward Salomon Rondon could miss a few weeks with the thigh injury he suffered at Crystal Palace last Saturday.
Defender Florian Lejeune remains out injured, but Benitez should have a full squad to choose from otherwise.
Leicester will be without Demarai Gray, with the winger set for up to six weeks out through injury.
Gray (ankle) was carried off on a stretcher during the Carabao Cup win against Wolves and joins midfielder Matty James (Achilles) on the sidelines.
Kasper Schmeichel and Harry Maguire were rested at Molineux and will return to the starting line-up, while captain Wes Morgan is available again in the Premier League after serving his one-match suspension against Huddersfield.
- Newcastle have lost their last two home games against Leicester. They last lost three in a row at home to the Foxes back in November 1965.
- Leicester have scored three goals on each of their last two Premier League visits to St James' Park - the last side to score 3+ in three consecutive top-flight away games against Newcastle were Preston North End, between 1952 and 1955.
- Since the start of last season, no team has lost more home Premier League games than Newcastle (10).
- Leicester have lost seven of their last 10 Premier League away games, winning the other three.
- This is the third time that Newcastle have lost their first three home games in a league season (also in 1986-87 and 1987-88) - they've never lost their first four before.
- As Newcastle manager, Rafael Benitez has lost 10 of his 27 home Premier League games - the same number he lost in 127 home games in charge of Chelsea and Liverpool combined.
Newcastle have got to win. They had a good result going to Crystal Palace and drawing 0-0 but Leicester are like a bag of Revels, you never know what you're going to get. One week, they're well beaten and Bournemouth then the next, they win at home. I'm going to go for a Newcastle home win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (7/1 with Sky Bet)