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Rupert Wyman 30th Aug 2009 - 14:29

Newcastle look likely to carry on playing in Toon

Many expected Newcastle to struggle this season, myself included, but their start to life in the second tier has been nothing short of very impressive.

The Magpies are without a manager, a committed owner and have brought in no new players of note, yet they have managed to win three matches and draw their other to sit in fourth place in the Championship ahead of Nigel Pearson taking his Leicester side to St James' Park.

Pearson had two minor spells in charge of the north east club as he stepped in following the sackings of both Glenn Roeder and Sam Allardyce. He is now starting to forge a reputation for himself as the number one as first he saved Southampton from relegation in 2008, ironically at the expense of his current employers.

Then last season he led Leicester, rather comfortably, to the League 1 title to return to the second tier at the first attempt. His side are priced at 7/2 to come away from St James' with the points and for him to show his managerial skills to the Toon Army faithful.

Leicester have also made a good start to the season as they are undefeated after four matches and sit on eight points in ninth.

However, the way caretaker boss Chris Hughton has got Newcastle playing and the confidence that must be within the squad I expect Newcastle to chalk up another win (4/5) against the Foxes. The draw is a 5/2 shot.

Shola Ameobi has been integral to Newcastle's success this term. Based on his performances in the Premier League this too has been a shock, yet the hitman has notched four league goals already this season including a hat-trick against Reading.

The striker is 5/1 to open the scoring and 5/4 to score at anytime. However he is an injury doubt for the match and if he doesn't make it then it is a big negative against backing the Toon Army to claim the win. I would even go as far to say that if he doesn't start then don't back the home win, punt on the draw instead.

Newcastle's biggest problem this season could be scoring goals as outside of Ameobi they don't appear to have much of a goal threat. Any success they might have will probably be based on a solid defence and a hard working midfield.

Their backline has only been breached once this season in the league, in the opening day draw at West Brom. Since then they have kept three clean sheets in a row something which is very unlike Newcastle teams in previous years. A fourth consecutive clean sheet is priced at 6/5.

The most likely person in Leicester's line-up to get the ball past Steve Harper is the highly-rated and sought-after Matty Fryatt. He scored 32 goals last season and is rumoured to be a target of Premier League clubs. This term he already has two league goals and he is a 2/1 shot to add to that tally at St James' Park.

A star in the early part of the season for Leicester has been summer signing Dany N'Guessan and the ex-Lincoln player can be backed at 5/1 to score his third goal of the season against Newcastle.

The match will likely be played at a high tempo and make sure you don't miss a thing as we will have all the betting angles covered via our Live In-Play service.

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