£20m signing left out: Newcastle United predicted XI versus Leeds United - gallery
Newcastle United’s predicted starting XI to take on Leeds United at St James’ Park.
Newcastle United are looking to end 2022 on a high by beating Leeds United in front of a sold-out St James’ Park.
It’s been a remarkable year for Eddie Howe’s side, who have gone from Premier League relegation contenders to top four challengers.
Indeed, it was the Magpies’ last meeting against Leeds that is viewed as the turning point after Jonjo Shelvey’s free-kick sealed a 1-0 win at Elland Road in January.
Both teams were close to each other in the table back then but now, 12 positions and 18 points separate the two.
Nevertheless, Howe is expecting a difficult game against Jesse Marsch’s side.
"I think from a physical perspective it’ll be two teams that give their all,” Howe said during his pre-match press conference.
“I’ve watched a lot of Leeds in preparation for this game and I’ve been impressed by them. I was impressed by them against Manchester City a couple of days ago.
“They give everything, they’re very committed, they’re playing for their manager and leaving everything out on the pitch.
“I think they’ve been unlucky not to get more points, so we do anticipate a very fast-paced game between two good teams."
The Magpies blew Leicester City away within half an hour on Boxing Day. Will Howe stick with the same starting XI, or switch things up? NewcastleWorld predicts: