On the back of last season’s performances, occupying a place in the bottom half of the table and an early exit from the Europa League seemed highly unlikely for a team on Leicester’s upward trajectory.
However, the Foxes have struggled for consistency since the beginning of the campaign, and Brendan Rodgers faces a fight to get his team back on track during the winter period.
Thursday’s 3-2 defeat at Napoli has left Leicester with Europa Conference League football in February, a competition that Rodgers seemingly does not hold in high regard based on his comments on Thursday.
Nevertheless, his sole focus over the coming weeks will be attempting to move Leicester up the Premier League table, their current standing of 11th position a result of five points coming from six games.
Despite still making an impact in the final third, their goal threat has often being undermined by their efforts in defence, Leicester having now conceded at least twice in their last four top-flight games.
Such a statistic will only offer encouragement to a Newcastle side who seem to be on the right track under Howe, regardless of dropped points during a favourable home schedule.
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That said, five points have still come from games against Brentford, Norwich City and Burnley, the latest result coming by a 1-0 scoreline courtesy of a goal from Callum Wilson.
The Magpies ended a run of 14 games without a league win in the process, and there is now genuine optimism among the group that they can go to the King Power Stadium and collect maximum points.
Newcastle do possess the worst away record in the division, posting just three points from seven games, but draws at Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion are still fresh in the memory