Mo Diame missed Newcastle’s defeat to Crystal Palace last time out.

All the pre-match talk was about Isaac Hayden potentially missing the game, but instead it was Diame who was nowhere to be seen.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Fans wanted Jonjo Shelvey to come in, but instead it was Ki Sung-Yueng who started.

It was a game that we probably should’ve won, punished for not taking our chances before Palace stole a victory from the spot.

But on Friday night we’ll face a much tougher task.

 

Hopefully Diame returns to face Leicester

Leicester City look back to their best now that Brendan Rodgers is in charge. And in midfield, they have a creative pair pulling the strings.

(Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

James Maddison and Youri Tielemans are bang in form, and the pressure will be on Newcastle’s midfield to stop them. That’s where Diame is needed.

No one gets in the faces of the opposition more than the 31-year-old. He’s like a bull in a china shop. While he wasn’t at his best against Arsenal, his energy was there for all to see. And it will be needed against Leicester.

Maddison and Tielemans can easily cut the Newcastle defence open if they are given time on the ball. But that’s exactly what Diame doesn’t give you.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

He’s not the most blessed in possession, but defensively he’s sound. And on Friday night, we’ll be doing a lot of defending.

Without Diame, we might struggle.