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Leicester can cope with Jamie Vardy absence, says Kasper Schmeichel

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has backed the Foxes to cope without the banned Jamie Vardy.

The England striker is suspended for the champions' next three games, starting with Boxing Day's visit of Everton.

Vardy was sent off in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Stoke by referee Craig Pawson, who ruled he had dived in on Mame Biram Diouf.

The club failed with their appeal to get the ban overturned with boss Claudio Ranieri saying the whole world could see Vardy's tackle was not a foul.

But Schmeichel believes last season's Premier League winners will handle his absence, with the forward also missing games against West Ham and Middlesbrough.

He said: "Obviously Vards is a massive influence for us. We always say in the dressing room that he's the one who sets the tempo from the front and the rest of the team follow.

"He's a miss but you can see that the players who came on against Stoke at the end made a massive difference. So I'm very confident in all the players in there and that whoever the manager chooses will step up and make a difference."

The Foxes are also without defenders Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs, who picked up their fifth bookings of the season at Stoke, with Leonardo Ulloa pushing to replace Vardy after scoring the equaliser at the Britannia Stadium and Luis Hernandez and Ben Chilwell in line to return in defence.

Schmeichel, who has just returned from six weeks out with a fractured hand, said: "When you play with a settled back four you get an understanding but you've got to remember that the other players in training shadow the back four that have been playing, so they're drilled to slot straight in.

"We've got some great quality in those positions and obviously each player brings different qualities, but not in a bad way."

Ranieri's side are 15th in the Premier League after fighting back from 2-0 down to claim a point at Stoke.

Schmeichel added: "I think it's about confidence. If you can come from two goals down with 10 men in the Premier League, that's a tough ask, but we did it and that's something that we have to build on definitely. Everton are a very good team. They've got a top-class manager (Ronald Koeman) and they are going to be a very tough proposition for us."

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