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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Claude Puel hopes in-form Leicester striker Jamie Vardy 'can cause Chelsea problems'

Leicester host Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals at King Power Stadium

Jamie Vardy score a spectacular volley in the 4-1 Premier League win over West Brom. Hannah McKay / Reuters
Jamie Vardy score a spectacular volley in the 4-1 Premier League win over West Brom. Hannah McKay / Reuters

Leicester City manager Claude Puel admits he continues to be surprised by the ability of Jamie Vardy.

And the Frenchman is hoping his star striker can fire the club into the FA Cup semi-finals.

Vardy goes into Sunday's clash against Chelsea in a rich vein of form, having scored six goals in his last eight games in all competitions.

His superb volley in the 4-1 win at West Bromwich Albion last weekend was Vardy's 16th goal of the season but Puel insists there is more to the 31-year-old striker's game than just putting the ball in the net.

"I hope he can cause Chelsea problems," Puel said. "He is a great player. He likes to give positive opportunities for the team by playing behind the lines.

"He fights always and it is always difficult to defend against him because he has this fighting spirit to win battles and make good runs.

"He is also a technical player. He can make fantastic move with his touch.

"We can remember his last goal against West Brom - it was fantastic. Not many players can score with this quality. It was a tough goal. Sometimes I am surprised also with the quality of Jamie."

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Puel is one game away from a return to Wembley, where last season his Southampton side were beaten in the final of the League Cup by Manchester United.

The Leicester manager is not getting carried away, though.

"It is just a quarter-final and after that it is speculating on the final," he said. "We have to play this game against a great opponent in Chelsea. It is a big challenge for us. We cannot anticipate other things.

"But the preparation is good and the squad are in a good place after our last result. We played without pressure against West Brom and conceded a goal and then to come back into the game was good for the confidence before this game. We need to replicate that on Sunday."

Puel is expected to have an unchanged squad against Chelsea. Daniel Amartey will not return from his hamstring injury until after the international break, while Robert Huth continues to work his way back from the ankle problem that has blighted his campaign.