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Newcastle lead Premier League injury report

Premier League
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 By PA Sport

Leicester's Shinji Okazaki 'not worried' by Jamie Vardy's goal drought

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy has only one goal in his past eight games.

Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki has backed Jamie Vardy to end his goal drought.

The 15-goal forward has failed to score in his last six games and drew a blank again in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

Okazaki bagged his fifth goal of the season only for Rudy Gestede to level in the second half after home goalkeeper Mark Bunn had saved Riyad Mahrez's penalty.

Vardy -- who has been struggling with a recent groin problem which needed surgery -- set a new Premier League record by scoring in 11 straight games earlier this term, but has now netted just once in his last eight outings.

"He has created some chances and so I am not worried about him at all," Okazaki said ahead of Leicester's FA Cup third-round replay against Tottenham on Wednesday.

"Vardy is still our main striker and it is a big thing he scores goals for us but if he is not scoring then I hope to help the team and Vardy as well."

One reason why Vardy hasn't been scoring is that Riyad Mahrez has been taking penalty kicks, but the Algeria international saw his second straight spot-kick saved on Saturday.

Riyad Mahrez's last two penalties have been saved by the opposing goalkeeper.

And Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri said he will speak to Mahrez to decide whether the winger will keep his penalty duties.

"Now is not important if I change the penalty man," said the Italian. "I'll speak with him and then I'll choose.

"From the bench it was difficult to see if it was handball but if it's a penalty, it's a red card.

"We are very sad but also I say to the players, 'If we make the performance the result is not important.' The performance was good because we played well in the first half. It's one point, it's okay, it's a derby -- but we are disappointed."

Leicester went top on Saturday but Arsenal edged back ahead on goal difference on Sunday following their 0-0 draw at Stoke.

Okazaki added: "It's unbelievable. I am happy and Leicester is a strong team like a family. Top of the table? I don't know if it will last but we take it game by game. I haven't got a title or a cup yet. I want to get there."

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