Leeds aren’t overly concerned about the fitness of Kalvin Phillips despite his withdrawal from the England squad, The Athletic’s Phil Hay reports.
Phillips pulled out of the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary after sustaining a minor calf strain.
The 25-year-old has played every Premier League minute for Leeds since he returned to the line up for their August clash with Everton.
Phillips ranks second in the squad for tackles per 90 minutes with 2.3 (behind only Liam Cooper) and is fourth for accurate long balls with four (via WhoScored). He’s yet to score or assist this season but has done so three times in the top flight overall.
He’s missed ten games in all since Leeds gained promotion, and the Whites have only managed to win two of them.
Leeds are already set to be without Robin Koch, Luke Ayling and Adam Forshaw for their trip to St Mary’s (via Premier Injuries).
In a tweet, Hay wrote that Leeds are ‘hopeful’ Phillips will not miss any Premier League action.
He also confirmed that James Ward-Prowse, who will be suspended for Leeds’ visit after a red card last weekend, is to replace him in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Leeds may have got their first win under their belt prior to the international break – a 1-0 victory against Watford – but the Southampton game still looks pretty important. It’s 16th vs 17th in the early table.
Win, and you feel Leeds have overcome their shaky start. Lose, and fears of a possible relegation battle will grow more widespread.
The stats clearly illustrate Phillips’ importance to the side, and it’s a massive relief for supporters and of course Marcelo Bielsa that he should be available.
In other news, what about Raphinha’s availability?
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