Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has told BBC Radio Leeds why West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has an advantage over him when it comes to impressing in the Premier League – ahead of Friday’s clash between the two sides.
Phillips, 24, has been excellent for Leeds this season since the Whites gained promotion to the Premier League. Marcelo Bielsa’s men have clocked up 14 points from their first 11 games – before losing 3-1 on Saturday to Rice’s old club Chelsea.
Both Phillips and Rice will go toe to toe on Friday night at Elland Road, with both sides suffering 3-1 defeats last time out. Manchester United came from behind to beat West Ham, with Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford all scoring.
Phillips spoke to Radio Leeds ahead of Friday evening’s clash between Leeds and the Hammers and commented on his healthy competition with Rice – which has seen him rival the Hammers man for a place in the England side.
“Declan’s obviously a very good player. He is younger than me as well. He has got a lot of experience in the Premier League, as I have not. For him to be playing for England so young is unbelievable for him. It’s very good for him,” Phillips said.
TBR’s view – Who will come out on top?
Currently captaining West Ham with Mark Noble struggling to start, Rice has been West Ham’s best player this season – alongside the likes of Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek. He will be crucial in stopping Leeds come Friday.
The battle will not be between Phillips and Rice, though. The winner of the match will be whether Rice can stop the likes of Mateusz Klich and Rodrigo getting forward – and if Leeds can sort out their defensive woes from set-pieces.
Rice and Phillips, though, are sure to have a big say in their team’s performances.