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Leicester midfielder N'Golo Kante sidelined against West Brom

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West Bromwich AlbionWest Bromwich Albion
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Leicester midfielder N'Golo Kante has been ruled out of the next two matches, starting with the crucial clash at home to West Brom on Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old came off in Saturday's 1-0 win over Norwich and is set to miss Leicester's game against the Baggies and Watford.

Andy King is expected to replace him but boss Claudio Ranieri feels Kante will not return before they head to face the Hornets on Saturday.

"We lose him for the next two matches," said Ranieri, whose side are two points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League. "I hope only two.

"It's a little painful, he suffered during all of the season and now we want to give him some rest. Two matches and he can restart.

"All the season he had a problem with the other leg and now this time the new leg. Maybe he made a compensation and charged too much on the other leg.

"He has been extraordinary but I am very confident because we played King and he has started very well. I am very confident with him.

"Let me now play and then I will tell you what I will lose (from Kante). N'Golo recovers a lot of balls but not only this, he starts the counter-attack. I am very confident Drinky (Danny Drinkwater) and Kingy could be the same, they are doing very well."

In better news for Ranieri, right-back Danny Simpson is available against after missing the win over the Canaries following his red card against Arsenal but Daniel Amartey could continue in defence after his debut at the weekend.

Leicester face Albion two points ahead of Tottenham in the league after Spurs' 2-1 comeback victory over Swansea on Sunday with Arsenal five points behind after losing 3-2 at Manchester United.

Ranieri, though, insisted he is not interested in their rivals' results and paid little attention to events at White Hart Lane and Old Trafford.

"I was with my family, I didn't watch, when I came back I was very focused on West Brom. It's always important what we are doing, not the others," he said.

West Brom, meanwhile, have problems of their own and face an anxious wait to discover the extent of the knee injury Chris Brunt sustained at the weekend.

Brunt was carried from the pitch on a stretcher after falling awkwardly during the 3-2 home win against Crystal Palace.

The midfielder, who has been filling in as a defender, will undergo a scan on Tuesday to determine the severity of the problem.

Initial fears are that the 31-year-old could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. That would be a blow for West Brom and compounded a miserable couple of weeks for Brunt after he was struck in the face by a coin thrown by an Albion fan at the end of the FA Cup defeat at Reading.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis said: "Brunty is going to see a specialist tomorrow so we will wait until he's done that until we announce what is wrong with him.

"There are all sorts of different opinions so we will wait until the specialist sees him.

"I have only seen it from a distance so we will wait until the specialist makes an assessment and then we will let people know.

"Jonny Evans will come into it if he's fit but basically it will be a similar team to Palace."

Pulis will hope Evans can recover from his hamstring injury and replace Brunt at left-back, but Callum McManaman (ankle) and James Morrison (hamstring) will remain out against Leicester - who Pulis hopes go on to lift the title.

"For me, if you were saying which team would you like to win the Premier League out of those that are up there, it would be them," he said. "It would be fantastic if Leicester could do it, they've been a breath of fresh air really this year."


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