Pep Guardiola has labelled Leicester striker Jamie Vardy ‘one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen’ ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City, speaking to Sky Sports (21 February, 1.30pm).
Since a former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager arrived on English shores in 2016, no player has scored more goals against his Man City side than The Foxes’ spiky-haired rascal of a number nine.
Heading into an intriguing battle between two top-three sides at the King Power Stadium, however, Vardy is in the midst of his worst goal drought in three years, having failed to find the back of the net in his last eight games after a spell on the sidelines.
But Guardiola will not be leaving anything to chance as he prepares to come up against his old nemesis once more.
“Because we play 40 metres in front (of our goal) and it's perfect for him,” the Catalan coach said when asked why the jet-heeled Vardy has such a fine record against City.
“In the box, in the final third, he is exceptional. He is one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen. Movement, intensity, high pressing; he’s an exceptional player.”
Vardy, still the Premier League’s top scorer with 17 goals to his name, was barely given a kick last time out in Friday’s 0-0 bore draw at Wolves.
But while Nuno Espirito Santo’s side sat very deep to deny space to one of the division’s quickest strikers, the proud and principled Guardiola is unlikely to adopt similarly defensive tactics. Don’t rule out Vardy ending his drought this weekend.
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