Claudio Ranieri has confirmed N’Golo Kante will miss Leicester City’s next two Premier League fixtures due to a hamstring injury.
Kante has proved to be one of the bargains of the season since joining from Caen for a reported £5.6million fee in August, the midfielder an integral part of a Leicester side that has defied the odds to reach the top of the league.
The 24-year-old was withdrawn in the 70th minute of Saturday’s last-gasp 1-0 victory over Norwich City and manager Ranieri expects the Frenchman to sit out the game at home to West Brom on Tuesday and the trip to Watford on Saturday.
“N’Golo Kante I think we’ll lose for the next two matches,” Ranieri said at a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s clash at King Power Stadium.
“He has a little pain with his hamstring so I need to give him some rest.”
The Italian is confident Andy King, who replaced Kante against Norwich, can step up in his team-mate’s absence.
“We put King on and he plays very well with [Danny] Drinkwater. I’m very confident in him,” he added.
Leicester needed an 89th-minute winner from Leonardo Ulloa to beat Norwich and they are two points clear of second-placed Tottenham with 11 matches to play.
But Ranieri is expecting another tough encounter against a West Brom side that lost 3-2 to Leicester in October’s reverse fixture at The Hawthorns.
“We have to be patient and find a solution. The first match against West Brom was very difficult and they scored first,” he said.
“Everybody knows us and we have to continue with our football, be intelligent and wait for the right moments.
“We know they counter well and are very dangerous at corners. They scored eight or nine goals from set plays. They are very dangerous.”
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