How do Leicester reconfigure their team during Jamie Vardy's suspension?

The striker was sent off against West Ham after scoring

BY Raf Diallo 15:31 Sunday 17 April 2016, 15:31 17 Apr 2016

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy (left) receives a red card from referee Jonathan Moss (centre) after diving during the Barclays Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture by: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Every fairytale throws in a dollop of adversity and the Leicester City story is no different it seems after today's setback.

On top of a draw today, a red card (or more accurately a second yellow for going down easily) against West Ham means top scorer Jamie Vardy will have to serve a one-game suspension at home to Swansea which poses a test for manager Claudio Ranieri and his staff.

The Foxes have tended to play 4-4-2 this season with Vardy's electric pace and work-rate a vital part of their counter-attacking mentality.

That asset is now temporarily shorn from their armoury, leaving Vardy's strike partner Shinji Okazaki up front.

The question is, does Ranieri draft in forward Leandro Ulloa, who scored the equalising penalty, to start up front alongside the Japan international or go one up top with either Okazaki or the Argentinian starting?

Either move changes the way they play as Vardy's pace is fundamental to their system as his ability to accelerate into space gives his own back-four licence to sit back.

Ulloa is a solid player in his own right but is more in the target man mould in comparison to the Englishman and certainly doesn't have his pace which means he will require greater support from the midfield behind him.

The danger is with the midfield pushed further forward, it either leaves space between them and the back-four.

If the back-four moves to squeeze that space, it leaves gaps behind the durable but not-so-pacey Robert Huth and Wes Morgan for opposition sides to exploit.

Hence, a 4-5-1 may work out better as it gives Leicester more scope to add numbers to midfield especially to protect the space in front of the defence, although the downside is, it takes away attacking power and numbers in advanced areas. 


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