Mo Diame is at his best when he’s stealing possession off the opposition.

The midfield powerhouse is a proficient tackler, seemingly able to get the ball back no matter who he’s up against.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

It is a huge part of his game, and one of the reasons he’s been able to turn his Newcastle career around.

In the Championship, Diame was used more as an attacking player, often slotting in behind the striker. However, he looked incredibly uncomfortable.

In the Premier League, he’s been a much more defensive player. And his renaissance last season intertwined with Diame suddenly being a magnet to the ball, taking it off his opponents with ease.

(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

He’s been able to do that this season as well, recording 75 tackles in the league, making him the ninth best in the division. However, two Leicester players feature above him.

Diame is bettered by Foxes duo

In the tackling rankings, two Leicester players feature in the top four.

 

Ricardo Pereira is in fourth, having won the ball 103 times this season. But in first place is Wilfred Ndidi, who has completed 123 tackles.

(Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The midfield battle will be crucial tonight. Assuming Diame returns to the side, both teams have players capable of winning the ball, so it will be a real tussle to determine which team can control proceedings.

However, Leicester’s big advantage is that they also have midfielders who can seriously play, whereas the Magpies’ most creative central option Jonjo Shelvey will likely be on the bench.

With four wins on the bounce, the stats show what a tough game it will be against Leicester.

Getting three points will take a monumental effort from Rafa Benitez’s men.

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