22 Goals, 6 Assists – How Will Leicester City Cope Without Their Talisman

Jamie-Vardy-Leicester-City

Jamie Vardy’s red card against West Ham United means he will miss the next action against Swansea City this Sunday at King Power Stadium. There were some controversial refereeing decision in the game and Leicester City managed to grab the all-important equalizer in the dying minutes of the game.

Well, it’s the only problem Ranieri hasn’t faced this season (sending-off).  We all know how Leicester have been performing in their every game. Vardy has hardly missed any premier league games for the foxes and hence he shared his position (1st22 goals) alongside Harry Kane in the premier league’s Top Scorers List.

Vardy has missed just 3 games this season and it showed how costly it could be without him.

Leicester without Vardy

Bury 1-4 Leicester, Capital One Cup
Leicester 1-1 West Ham (2-1 AET) Capital One Cup
Tottenham 2-2 Leicester, FA Cup

Ranieri has unleashed the beast inside Vardy and the 29-year-old English International has been in the prime form this season. The player who managed just 15 goals last season booked a place in Guinness world record. Till now, Vardy has 22 goals to his name and we all have witnessed how awesome they were. Vardy gives Leicester a ruthless combination of pace and power. He is a gifted striker and he is very well aware of how to find space in the opponent’s box and how to set himself at the end of the crosses.

Leicester City, alongside Vardy, Mahrez and Kante are set to create a history by hunting down the premier league title but, that one red card could turn the tables for Leicester.

Let’s discuss what options do Leicester have in terms of attacking (besides Vardy); so far we have seen just 2 strikers that could well be taken on to the pitch in place of Vardy- Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa.

Talking firstly about the Patagonian Leonardo Ulloa, he is a tall and a powerful lad who could hold up the ball until the supports arrive. He can be used as a classic number 9 who will be the target of Leicester’s crosses. He has 26 appearances for the club in which he has played just 1 full game. Even though he has not been the regular one, he has scored 4 goals for the club.

Okazaki, on the other hand, has worked alongside Vardy many a times in the league. In his 32 appearances for the club, he has played just 3 full games and has scored 5 goals so far. Okazaki is a tricky player. He relies on pace, movements, and the dribbles and is a worthy teammate for Mahrez. He makes the team more of a counter attacking one while Ulloa makes Leicester play the long balls.

But, to be honest; they both lack the attacking abilities that Vardy possesses. Vardy is good in the air, great finisher, a goal poacher, capable of beating the defenders through his pace and what not. He has guided the team to where they are right now. Even if Ulloa and Okazaki lack in some attributes, they can surely punish the opponent’s defence and particularly Swansea who, have played nine games away from South Wales and have won just two of them (in 2016).

Now with Jamie Vardy suspended for the next game Ulloa and Okazaki will have to work together. They will have to find a way to combine with the midfield and with each other.

 

Written by Swapnil Bhopatkar

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