In Review

Jamie Vardy, Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero on the couch for Boxing Day

Leicester have reason to feel aggrieved after losing Vardy, especially if Everton's Ross Barkley makes them pay

Some of the Premier League's biggest strikers will be able to put their feet up this Christmas after finding themselves banned from the Boxing Day fixtures.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is the latest to be ruled out after the FA rejected his appeal against a red card in Saturday's game against Stoke.

He joins Diego Costa of Chelsea, who picked up his fifth yellow of the season against Crystal Palace, and Man City striker Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine is still banned after being sent off for violent conduct against Chelsea and will miss the clash against Hull, although he will return to play Liverpool on New Year's Eve.

Those three strikers would form a formidable strike force and their absence from the Boxing Day line-up will leave fantasy football players with a headache bigger than the one caused by Christmas dinner.

Also missing from the Chelsea line-up on Monday will be influential midfielder N'Golo Kante, who was booked at the weekend. That could give visitors Bournemouth the best chance of any side in recent weeks to end the Blues' 11-game winning streak.

Second-placed Liverpool will certainly be wishing the Cherries well and hoping that their own post-Christmas rivals, Stoke, will be adversely affected by the absence of midfielder Marko Arnautovic, who will be serving the second of a three-match ban for his red card against Southampton.

But it is Leicester who can feel most aggrieved. Vardy's tackle looked far worse than it was, although that was not enough to have the card rescinded.

"Most neutrals felt there was some merit in Vardy's argument, and if the commission is not going to budge when presented with a reasonable case there seems little point in having an appeals procedure," says Paul Wilson of The Guardian.

And the Foxes could have salt rubbed into the wound on Boxing Day when they face Everton, who will play with Ross Barkley after his horrific challenge on Jordan Henderson in the Merseyside derby on Monday went unpunished.

"Barkley was a lucky boy to stay on the pitch," says Wilson. "Vardy was unlucky to be ordered off against Stoke and can consider himself even more unfortunate to be forced to sit out three matches.

"One hopes that Barkley... does not play too influential a role at the King Power and so deepen Leicester’s sense of rough justice."

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