Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater banned for three games

Midfielder accepted FA charge of violent conduct following elbow on Valon Behrami

Leicester City’s English midfielder Danny Drinkwater will miss the club’s next three Premier League games. Photograph: Getty Images

Leicester City’s English midfielder Danny Drinkwater will miss the club’s next three Premier League games. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater has accepted a Football Association charge of violent conduct and will serve an immediate three-match ban.

The England international will be suspended following an elbow on Watford’s Valon Behrami in the Foxes’ 2-1 defeat at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Referee Neil Swarbrick took no action during the game but the FA acted after being alerted to the footage after it ran on social media on Sunday.

Drinkwater, who has not been fined by the club, will now miss Saturday’s visit of Middlesbrough, the trip to Sunderland and the home game with Manchester City on December 10th.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri said: “He made a mistake, it’s right to accept this. That’s the law and we accept it. It’s much better he continues to train without making anything more. Of course he’s not happy but he’s OK.

“It is difficult now to say what we miss. Let us play and then after the match I will say ‘we missed this, this and this’.

“I hope the players who are involved in the middle of midfield play well, play together and support his absence.

“Drinky is an important player for us but I’m sure the team will react very well.”

Drinkwater has started every Leicester game this season and helped them into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday when the Foxes beat Club Brugge 2-1.

His ban leaves Ranieri light in midfield, with Nampalys Mendy struggling with an ankle injury, while Matty James has not played for 18 months following a knee injury. Andy King and Daniel Amartey are the club’s only fit senior central midfielders.

Defenders Robert Huth and Danny Simpson are also just a booking away from a one-match ban but Ranieri remains unconcerned about the threat of suspensions.

“We have some good players, my squad is good. I am not worried about it, when it happens we have the right player,” he added.

Ranieri has been handed a boost that £30million striker Islam Slimani is fit after a groin injury and Leonardo Ulloa has shrugged off a back problem but Kasper Schmeichel remains out with a fractured hand along with defender Ben Chilwell (ankle).

Leicester are two points above the Premier League relegation zone ahead of Boro’s visit and Ranieri remained confident they will turn their form around having lost double the amount of games, six, than they did last season.

He said: “I always am confident with my players. I am always positive because I see how they react and how they play in training session and when they are working well, sooner or later it goes in the right direction.”

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