Pochettino claims Vardy’s absence will derail Leicester


Mauricio Pochettino believes the absence of Jamie Vardy for Leicester City could be the blow to swing things Tottenham’s way in the Premier League title race.

Vardy has scored 22 times this season to guide the Foxes to the top but now faces missing two vital games in the run-in after his sending-off against West Ham last week.

Leicester play Swansea City on Sunday without their top goal-scorer and, with Pochettino rating Vardy among the league’s top forwards, the Spurs boss expects his absence will be felt.

Tottenham play West Bromwich Albion a day later and will be desperate for a Leicester slip-up to cut down the five-point gap separating the Premier League’s top two.

“I think that it’s a big impact for Leicester because Vardy is one of the best players in the Premier League,” Pochettino said.

“Sure, it’s a big impact for them.

“Leicester have very good players and are in a position that they deserve to be.

“But he’s one of the best strikers in the Premier League. They will feel that. But I’m sure they have different players that can play the same way.”

Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki are likely to deputise up front after Vardy admitted his Football Association misconduct charge that could give him a second game on the sidelines following the initial one-game suspension.

Tottenham, by contrast, will face West Brom at home on Monday at almost full strength, with Harry Kane leading the line and only Nabil Bentaleb ruled out.