Belfast Telegraph

Leicester boss Claude Puel respects Newcastle despite differing fortunes

Leicester manager Claude Puel is wary of the threat Newcastle pose despite the Magpies' recent poor run of results.

After making a solid start on their return to the Premier League, Rafa Benitez's team head into Saturday's game with Leicester on a six-match winless streak consisting of five defeats - a run that has seen the club slip to 15th in the table.

In contrast, the Foxes travel to St James' Park looking for a third straight victory having taken 11 points from the six games since Puel was appointed as manager at the end of October.

Despite the two team's differing fortunes, Puel is expecting a tough match.

"We have a lot of respect for Newcastle," the Frenchman told the club's official website. "They are a good team and have a great manager with quality on the team.

"They know themselves very well because they play together in the Championship. They had a good start to the season and they have good structure, good play and strong on the counter-attack.

"We need to keep a good concentration and focus on this team. It will be a difficult atmosphere because there will be 50,000 people cheering them on.

"It's another good challenge. It's important to play a good game, to continue to work and to keep building our momentum and confidence."

Leicester have no new injury problems ahead of their trip to the north east.

Puel made just one change against Burnley with Demarai Gray replacing Shinji Okazaki. Gray will be hopeful of keeping his place in the team after scoring the winning goal in last weekend's 1-0 victory.

Robert Huth (ankle) and Matty James (Achilles) remain out, with the former yet to make an appearance this season, and no date has been set for the pair's comeback. Adrien Silva remains unregistered until January.

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