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Pundit’s Choice: Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, and Demarai Gray

Pundit’s Choice: Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, and Demarai Gray

Leicester City supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer an 11th Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.

Claude Puel’s men went into their encounter with Manchester United at the King Power Stadium off the back of drawing 1-1 with league leaders Liverpool in their preceding league clash, albeit that did extend their winless run in the league to three matches. And the Foxes were unable to get back to winning ways on Sunday either as a Marcus Rashford strike after just nine minutes sealed a 1-0 success for the Red Devils, thus inflicting an 11th loss of the season on Puel’s side.

As such, there have been many disappointed Leicester fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, who has identified the Leicester trio of Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, and Demarai Gray as three that could hurt Tottenham this weekend when the two teams meet at Wembley, in what he deems will be a ‘tough test’ for Pochettino’s side on Sunday.

And given the Foxes’ record against the top six sides this term, as well as the strengths the three attackers bring to the table, Merson is absolutely spot on to outline the trio as threats to Mauricio Pochettino’s title-chasing team this weekend.

Ultimately, Leicester’s 1-0 loss at home to United last time out was the first time they have tasted defeat against a member of the so-called big six since going down 2-0 at home to Spurs back at the start of December – since then, they have beaten both Manchester City and Chelsea, and indeed drew with Liverpool only last month.

And having also played well in defeats to United and indeed Arsenal this term, it’s clear that the Foxes have a way of playing against the big teams, seeking to absorb the pressure and letting them have the ball before hitting them on the break – and messrs Vardy, Maddison, and Gray are three men who can seriously hurt opposition defences.

In former England international Vardy, the Midlanders possess a striker that is very much against the norm for most number nines in the division, what with the 32-year-old a nuisance in terms of the pace he possesses, the runs he makes, and his tenacity off the ball – he doesn’t give defenders a moment’s rest.

And in their incredible title-winning season of 2015/16, it was Vardy who often finished off a swift counter-attacking move – for all the above qualities he has, he is also an excellent finisher, with his return of 69 goals in 163 games emphasising that.

And with the likes of Maddison and Gray just behind him, Spurs will have to wary of the Leicester counter this weekend if they are to keep the pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool in the title race.

22-year-old Maddison has embarked on a fabulous debut season in the Premier League, netting five times and laying on four assists, with his excellent vision and keen eye for a pass, as well as quality from dead-ball situations, serving Leicester well time and again this term.

And with England Under-21 international Gray possessing excellent pace down the flanks, the Foxes have got more than enough quality in the final third to seriously test Pochettino’s men this weekend – come through it though, and Spurs will certainly grow in confidence ahead of the run in.

As such, while Merson does expect Tottenham to indeed get the job done, predicting a 2-1 success for the North Londoners on Sunday, he is absolutely right to identify the Leicester trio of Vardy, Maddison, and Gray as three men who could hurt Pochettino’s side this weekend.

Leicester and Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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