Leicester City will feel the impact of Jamie Vardy's absence as the Premier League title race reaches the sharp end, according to Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino. The England international, who has netted 22 league goals this term, will miss the visit of Swansea City this weekend after being sent off against West Ham United for diving.
Vardy could even miss a second game if he is found guilty of a misconduct charge after confronting referee Jon Moss when he was shown the second-half red card, having gone to ground following a coming together with Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna. With Spurs having closed the gap to five points between themselves and the Foxes with victory over Stoke, Pochettino is hopeful the loss of Vardy could help them close the deficit further.
"I think that it's a big impact for Leicester because Vardy is one of the best players in the Premier League. Sure, it's a big impact for them," the Tottenham boss admitted. "I think Leicester have very good players and are in a position that they deserve to be, this is important, nobody gave nothing for nothing.
"But he's one of the best strikers in the Premier League. I am sure they will feel that but they have different players that can play the same way. We are in the race for the title and I, like our supporters, hope Leicester will drop points in the next game so we can erase the gap."
Twenty-four hours before Tottenham host West Bromwich Albion, the Professional Footballers' Association players' player and young player of the year awards will be presented. Premier League top scorer Harry Kane is in contention for both awards, while Dele Alli has been nominated for the young player prize – though neither player will be in attendance at the prestigious London ceremony on Sunday (24 April).
Kane's success this season has followed last year's breakthrough campaign, when he netted 21 league goals in Pochettino's first term as manager at Tottenham. The former Millwall loanee began this season with just one goal in his first 13 games but his manager always knew he'd return to form.
"The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world and for some periods, when you have a player like Harry Kane, people need to speak and they can doubt whether he can repeat the same season," Pochettino said.
"But Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world and he has proved that it wasn't only one season. We are now in the second season and he's showed his real quality.
"For us, we never had any doubts about him. From day one we knew that he would achieve everything because of his mentality, his passion and hunger are fantastic. He showed fantastic skill and that he's one of the best in the world."