Kalvin Phillips at centre-back could be a risk for Leeds against Tammy Abraham
Leeds United travel to Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon for a colossal Championship fixture and tactical Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa may have his work cut out trying to come up with a plan to stop Tammy Abraham.
The Yorkshire giants are top of the league due to their impressive form, while their upcoming opponents are eighth and just three points outside the play-off positions.
Villa do possess one of the Championship’s most feared centre-forwards in the shape of Abraham, who already has 12 goals in 16 league games this campaign.
The 21-year-old is a proven striker that is clinical around the penalty area and a real handful for centre-backs due to his movement and power.
One potential Leeds flaw going into the Villa game is the use of Kalvin Phillips in the heart of defence, something he’s done in recent games.
Phillips is a mainstay in the Leeds team this season and the versatile ace is playing a vital role in the push towards a Premier League return.
The 23-year-old academy graduate has looked steady in defence when required, but his best position is in midfield and he could come up short against someone with the qualities of Abraham.
Phillips is a pass master that excels in a deep midfield role and the touch tackler has the flexibility to fill a number of positions for Bielsa.
But it would be a mismatch against Abraham aerially and he’s not come up against a striker with the Villa man’s intelligence in the penalty area.
Leeds would be much better served restoring Phillips to his best position and deploying a natural centre-back option at the weekend, as they are likely to be busy defending at times at Villa Park.
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