Lee Hendrie said on Sky Sports News (1:44pm, November 21, 2020) that Kalvin Phillips returning to the Leeds United team will boost their chances of winning against Arsenal today.
The former Aston Villa and Derby County midfielder, who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports, believes that Phillips playing at Elland Road this evening will help Leeds defensively in their Premier League game against the Gunners.
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa said on Friday that the 24-year-old England international midfielder has recovered from his shoulder injury and could start against Arsenal.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal star Paul Merson has backed the Whites to pick up all three points against the North London club.
Hendrie said on Sky Sports News (1:44pm, November 21, 2020) when told about Phillips: “He is a big player for Leeds United, he really is. He proved that last season and hence he is getting the international call-up. I just feel that he is that defensive pivot who will protect that back-three at times.”
The Sky Sports pundit added: “It’s a great point that Phillips coming back in, I do feel that he will protect them and be a little bit more defensive-minded because I feel that in that midfield in this current time, he is instrumental in the way Leeds set up because he does give them that comfort blanket, especially in defensive areas.”
Merson said on Sky Sports News (1:50pm, November 21, 2020): “I see Leeds beating Arsenal because Arsenal haven’t got them players in their team who go past people.
“I think that’s the problem – they go to Man City and they draw because Man City play football and they pass and move. For me, I personally think Leeds beat Arsenal because I don’t think Arsenal have the players to cope with Leeds.”
Boost for Leeds United
Phillips is one of the best players on the books of Leeds at the moment, and the West Yorkshire club have missed him.
Leeds have lost their last two league games 4-1, and the 24-year-old playing today will ensure that they do not concede four goals again.
Arsenal lost to Aston Villa before the two-week international break, and Leeds will fancy their chances of picking up all three points against Mikel Arteta’s side.