In Depth

Will Jamie Vardy's Man Utd ban mean he misses Leicester's coronation?

Striker out for another match after red card against West Ham, but it might not matter to the Foxes

Jamie Vardy could miss Leicester's Premier League coronation after he was handed an additional one-match ban for his reaction to being sent off against West Ham earlier this month.

Vardy was given his marching orders by referee Jon Moss after receiving a second yellow card for diving and reacted furiously to the decision. 

He admitted a charge of improper conduct and appeared before the three-man disciplinary committee in person to plead for leniency, hoping that the support of England manager Roy Hodgson would help. Instead, he was handed an extended ban and a £10,000 fine

However, this will do little to dampen spirits in Leicester, as they now need just one win from their final three games to win the league.

When Vardy was first dismissed, there were concerns that the Foxes' season could implode. But they recovered to salvage a draw in the game against West Ham and then scored four, for only the second time this season, against Swansea on Sunday.

That result, combined with Tottenham Hotspur's failure to beat West Bromwich Albion last night, means Leicester will win the title at Old Trafford if they beat Manchester United this weekend. 

"While it was seen as a blow to Leicester at the time, in particular that idea that their most prolific player could potentially miss two games at such a critical stage, Leonardo Ulloa proved to be a capable deputy for Vardy with two goals against Swansea City. Leicester will now hope for more of the same from the Argentinian at Old Trafford," reports The Guardian.

However, the title is not yet secure and the Daily Mail says the additional ban is a "significant development".

Vardy will be available for the Foxes' final home match against Everton, when they could once again secure the title if they have not already done so.

How will Leicester replace Jamie Vardy as he admits charge?

22 April

Jamie Vardy and Leicester City are hoping the Foxes' striker will not be handed an additional ban after he admitted a charge of improper conduct in the wake of his sending off against West Ham last week.

The 29-year-old England forward has requested a personal hearing in a bid to convince the FA disciplinary panel not to extend his one-match ban for the red card.

He was sent off after receiving a second yellow for diving and reacted angrily, pointing and reportedly swearing at referee Jon Moss, who most observers believe had a bad match.

"[Vardy] is likely to have the ban extended by at least one game," says The Times, meaning he would miss Leicester's trip to Manchester United as well as this weekend's game againt Swansea.

History suggests he will miss a second game, but he could escape with just a fine on top of the mandatory one-match ban if he can convince the panel he has been hard done by.

"The player is expected to cite previous good behaviour and the claim from Roy Hodgson, the England manager, that the striker was a victim of an injustice and should not be castigated for his 'human' reaction," says the paper.

Laurie Whitwell, of the Daily Mail, also believes an additional ban is unneccessary.

"Considering the offence, the context, and the ramifications on this historic season, that would seem grossly disproportionate punishment," he writes.

Leicester have also admitted a charge of failing to control their players during the match, apparently at the request of manager Claudio Ranieri.

"With Leicester five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in second place, the club is keen to avoid the situation distracting them from the final four games of the season," says the Daily Telegraph.

In the absence of Vardy this weekend, there is much speculation about how the Foxes will adapt.

They will miss his pace. He "is crucial to the counterpunching way they have preferred to play this season, pressing from the front and always offering them an outlet on the break", says The Guardian.

Leonardo Ulloa is the obvious replacement - "He holds the ball up well, makes clever runs to open angles for crosses and uses his strength effectively," says the Telegraph -but he lacks speed.

Other options include playing full-back Jeffrey Schlupp further upfield, notes the Guardian, or handing youngster Demarai Gray a first Premier League start.

Jamie Vardy red card: What does it mean for the title race?

19 April

Leicester will be without talismanic striker Jamie Vardy for the first time this season when they take on Swansea on Sunday - and with their lead at the top of the Premier League table cut to five points, the striker's absence could be crucial.

To make matters worse, Vardy has also been charged with improper conduct by the FA and that could lead to an extended ban.

How long will Vardy be missing?

He will miss at least one game after being red-carded against West Ham on Sunday, when he picked up two bookings, the second for diving.

That leads to a one-game ban, while a straight red means three games out.

Can Leicester appeal?

Under Premier League rules, clubs cannot appeal against red cards from two bookings, so Vardy will definitely miss the match against Swansea.

Is that it?

Not necessarily. The striker was furious with the referee, Jon Moss, and has been charged with improper conduct over his reaction to the red card.

"This type of FA charge usually ends with an extended ban," says the Daily Mail. "Chelsea's Diego Costa received a one-game suspension after admitting the offence in March. Arsenal defender Gabriel suffered the same punishment for refusing to leave the field when sent off against Chelsea in September. He too admitted his charge at a personal hearing."

Can the Foxes appeal against that charge?

Yes, they can. "Leicester and Vardy have been given until 6pm on Thursday to appeal against the charges with any sanctions to be determined by an independent regulatory commission," says The Times.

What are their chances?

Vardy reacted badly to the red card, "jabbing a finger at Moss and appearing to swear", notes the Mail. "But the England international left the field relatively quickly and may feel he can escape an extra match ban."

Do Leicester have anything else to worry about?

Yes. The league leaders must also answer a charge of failing to control their players and the FA "is investigating reports of a confrontation in the tunnel between the referee and a member of staff from Leicester", says the Times. Punishment will likely take the form of a fine.

"Moss, whose handling of the game has been widely criticised, has effectively thrown the book at Leicester," says The Guardian. "Yet the real concern for Leicester surrounds Vardy and how they will cope without the services of their most influential player if his suspension is indeed increased."

What does it mean for the title race?

Vardy has started every Premier League match for the Foxes this season while Leicester's other strikers, Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki, have only played together for 11 minutes this season. Victory against Swansea is paramount for Claudio Ranieri's team as they also face tough away trips to Manchester United and Chelsea, with a home game against Everton sandwiched in between.

Vardy is "their talisman and central to their style of play, whether breaking with such pace on the counterattack or pressing aggressively from the front", says the Guardian. "In that sense the sending-off on Sunday, which was Vardy's first as a professional footballer, could have significant ramifications for the title race."

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