Leicester City forgotten man fires Newcastle United ‘hope’ warning ahead of St James’ Park clash

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Leicester City defender Ricardo Pereira is set to start against Newcastle United despite being rarely used this season due to injury.

Ricardo Pereira may well have played little part in Leicester City’s season-long demise, however he’s determined not to give up hope of survival.

The defender suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in August and only made his Premier League return in February, when the Foxes were deep in the top flight relegation mire.

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Portugal international Pereira is expected to again operate as a right-back this evening at St James’ Park with Leicester knowing anything other than a win will significantly reduce their survival prospects, with the visitors three points behind fourth bottom Everton, who face Bournemouth at Goodison Park on the final day.

Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City during a Pre Season Friendly match between Leicester City and Villarreal CF at The King Power Stadium on August 04, 2021 in Leicester, England. Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City during a Pre Season Friendly match between Leicester City and Villarreal CF at The King Power Stadium on August 04, 2021 in Leicester, England.
Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City during a Pre Season Friendly match between Leicester City and Villarreal CF at The King Power Stadium on August 04, 2021 in Leicester, England. | Getty Images

Leicester, who have a much better goal difference, host West Ham United next Sunday.

And while the Magpies know that a point will see them secure Champions League football on Tyneside for the first time since 2003 - and that feels big enough - the Foxes’ Premier League lives are on the line tonight.

Few are giving Leicester a chance, but Pereira is not giving up hope of doing what may, to many, seem like the impossible.

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Taking to social media, the 29-year-old former Nice and Porto man posted an image on himself in training for the match, with the words: “If there’s opportunity there’s hope.”

Newcastle player Dan Burn celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St James’ Park on January 10, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.Newcastle player Dan Burn celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St James’ Park on January 10, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Newcastle player Dan Burn celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St James’ Park on January 10, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. | Getty Images

Pereira played no part in any of the two previous meetings between the sides this season, with Newcastle winning 3-0 at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day, 2022, as well as recording a 2-0 home win over the Foxes in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup.

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