Alan Pardew says Crystal Palace cannot just focus on Jamie Vardy if they are to stop the Premier League’s “surprise package” Leicester City.
Striker Vardy has stole the headlines by firing Leicester to fifth in the league with nine goals – making him the division’s top goalscorer.
The 28-year-old’s form was rewarded with an England call-up, but Pardew insists the Foxes have more strings to their bow.
“No, I don’t think so,” the Palace boss said when asked if keeping Vardy quiet ended Leicester’s chances of victory.
“They have various offensive options, all of which are problematic. [Nathan] Dyer came off the bench, who I think’s a terrific player, and changed the game a little bit against Southampton.
“They’ve got good offensive players, but [Vardy] is the sharpest striker in the division at the moment.
“Coming from where he’s come from, the route to where he finds himself now is astonishing, it’s a credit to the boy. He’s done terrifically well.”
In a new column, Dave Tindall picks out the likely goalscorers this weekend, with Jamie Vardy, Alexis Sanchez and Nick Blackman among them.
Vardy has not been the only pleasant surprise at the King Power Stadium.
Ranieri’s summer appointment as manager following the dismissal of Nigel Pearson led many observers to predict that Leicester would struggle.
However, the Italian has so far impressed in leading his team to fifth place, and Pardew has revealed his admiration for the manager and the start he has made.
“We’re playing against a Leicester side who have been the surprise package,” he said.
“I think with our signing of (Yohan) Cabaye people looked at us and perhaps thought we might have a good season, but I don’t think everybody (could) see Leicester’s season coming. They’ve done tremendously well.
“I’m a big fan of the manager, who carries himself really well and he’s had big teams so he knows how to keep a winning run going and they’re in a great zone at the moment.
“It’s a really tough game, and a crucial game, in terms of us and Leicester because it will propel one above the other.”
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