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Joelinton stars as Newcastle saunters past Leicester City

Newcastle United smashed Leicester City 3-0 at the King Power Stadium to start Premier League life as it ended it for the World Cup break: On the upswing.

Joelinton won a second-minute penalty that Chris Wood converted, and later scored himself to join Miguel Almiron amongst the goals.

WATCH LEICESTER vs NEWCASTLE FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM

Newcastle moves into second place with 33 points, four behind Arsenal and one ahead of Man City (although both rivals have played two fewer games).

Leicester is denied in its bid to win three-straight Premier League matches and remains four points clear of 18th-place Nottingham Forest. The Foxes have played one more match than Forest.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


What we learned from Leicester vs Newcastle

What haven’t we learned? The Magpies came out of their prolonged break without a single sign that their early-season success could be a mirage.

Newcastle was missing Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, and Jonjo Shelvey, and also started the game with Allan Saint-Maximin on the bench.

Not a problem.

Leicester vs Newcastle

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Newcastle’s spine of Bruno Guimares, Fabian Schar, and Sven Botman were imperious and Chris Wood buried his penalty in place of Wilson and Isak. The wings were electric as Newcastle rang up a 1.81-0.54 expected goal advantage and kept Leicester without a real dangerous chance.

Speaking of wings, Kieran Trippier (right) remains in superb form. He set up a goal, won the ball when needed, and delivered bomb after bomb into the box.

As for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, they better hope Newcastle really is this good.

James Maddison’s injury matters, of course, but he’s not going to fix a wide-open defense, is he?

Rodgers opted for Daniel Amartey next to bright signing Wout Faes at center back but neither played well as Jonny Evans missed through injury but Caglar Soyuncu and Jannik Vestergaard will be wondering how they couldn’t have done better.

The changes started after 17 minutes but Ayoze Perez, Jamie Vardy, and Kelechi Iheanacho struggled to make an impact in attack. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Youri Tielemans helped Leicester keep the ball but the Foxes couldn’t manufacture anything as Nick Pope faced 0.05 total expected goals on target and had to make only two saves and 40 touches on the day.


Stars of the Show

Joelinton

Bruno Guimaraes

Kieran Trippier

Miguel Almiron

Fabian Schar


What’s next?

Leicester City’s off to Liverpool for a Friday match while Newcastle waits one more day to hit the pitch.

The Magpies host Leeds at 10am ET on New Year’s Eve.


Chris Wood goal video: Amartey hands out Boxing Day gift

Miguel Almiron goal video: Bruno Guimaraes cues up Paraguayan star

Joelinton goal video: Too easy for Newcastle’s Brazilian forward


How to watch Leicester vs Newcastle live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET Monday, Dec. 26 (Boxing Day)
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines

It’s the same storyline for everyone coming out of this unusual in-season World Cup? Which clubs figured out something new during the long pause, or at least found a tactical wrinkle to surprise their next opponent? Who kept in shape? Who kept form? Who suffered from the tournament and who thrived there to find a little boost heading back into the Premier League. James Maddison, Nampalys Mendy, Bruno Guimares, and Kieran Trippier were among the stars on these clubs to play for their nations in Qatar.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Well, how does James Maddison look after recovering from a knee injury and training with England but not hitting a match pitch in the Foxes’ run to the quarterfinals in Qatar?

Almost Newcastle’s whole team had been in-form heading into the break but what will the World Cup participation have done to players like Bruno Guimares, who made two substitute appearances for Brazil, and Fabian Schar, who was a big part of Switzerland’s run?


Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: James Justin (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee), Ricardo Pereira (calf)


Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Aleksander Isak (thigh), Emil Krafth (knee), Paul Dummett (calf), Callum Wilson (undisclosed), Jonjo Shelvey (leg)

Follow @NicholasMendola