A quality in-form striker is a massive positive for any Premier League side and Jamie Vardy certainly fits the bill at this moment in time.

The forward has scored in all of Leicester’s last nine matches, a total of 11 goals in all in these games.

At Newcastle we became spoilt with having Alan Shearer on call for so many years, you only really appreciate what you have when you haven’t got it anymore…

Yesterday brought news that Jamie Vardy is struggling with a hip injury after being sent home from the England squad, with the odds favouring that he will miss the trip to St James Park.

One of the newspapers this morning claimed that an unnamed Leicester player had claimed that Vardy is likely to make it, meanwhile the local press in the shape of the Leicester Mercury are asking supporters the question….

‘Who will lead Leicester City attack at Newcastle if Jamie Vardy is unfit – Okazaki or Ulloa?’

They certainly seem to be looking on the negative side of Vardy’s potential availability and published the following recent comments from the Leicester Manager about the choice of replacements for the in-form striker, with Shinji Okazaki or Leonardo Ulloa likely to play the lone role up front if the England forward misses out.

Claudio Ranieri:

“In my opinion, Shinji has both a defending quality and an attacking quality, he has to just continue in this way.

“We must just look during the training session and then look at the opponents and choose the best solution to try to win the match.

“With Ulloa we change a little more, Leo is different from Shinji, he’s a targetman, a goalscorer. I believe in him and he can bring us more goals.

“Shinji is in good condition. Now also Leo is in good condition and I am very happy.”

Okazaki has scored one goal in 12 Premier League games (4 of them as sub) this season, whilst Ulloa has scored no goals in his 6 matches (5 of them as a sub).

Whilst both have been used in mainly withdrawn roles, it is quite clear just how different a threat Jamie Vardy is at the minute.

Looking back at these past nine matches, Jamie Vardy’s goals have made a remarkable difference.

Vardy’s goals have meant wins rather than draws against Watford, Palace, Villa, West Brom and Norwich.

Whilst goals against Southampton(2), Bournemouth and Stoke have produced draws rather than defeats.

The nine matches have seen Jamie Vardy personally responsible for an extra 13 points of the 18 points total they have banked in this run.

Whilst there is no way they are a one man team and maybe whoever would have played instead of Vardy might have scored goals/won points themselves.

There is little doubt that Steve McClaren will sleep easier if/when he hears Jamie Vardy is ruled out in advance of Saturday’s match.