Chelsea must stop Kalvin Phillips if they are to beat Leeds, says Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher: "Kalvin Phillips produced a Paul Scholes performance in Leeds' win at Everton"; follow Chelsea vs Leeds live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7.45pm on Saturday; kick-off 8pm

Everton's Allan and Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips battle for the ball 4:05
Jamie Carragher believes teams that face Leeds United must come up with a game plan to stop Kalvin Phillips from dictating proceedings after his eye-catching display at Everton.

Leeds will hope to continue their good recent form when they visit Chelsea on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, and Jamie Carragher believes Kalvin Phillips holds the key following his virtuoso display at Everton...

Kalvin Phillips was fantastic against Everton and I've been wanting to analyse him for a while. The way the game is going, a lot of teams are now playing 4-3-3 - or as Everton played at the weekend, a 3-4-3. What we're seeing in the main are front threes as opposed to front twos.

What that means is that there's no No 10s in football now, or a second striker to drop off. It's always a debate for opposition managers; who stops the opponents' holding midfield player in these situations, and Everton just never got it right the other day.


From kick-off, you could identify the problem Everton would have. Who's job is it to go and press Phillips? I'm not sure if someone was designated as such. When they thought they could get there, [Abdoulaye] Doucoure would go but he was closing him down from too far away.

When he was pressed, his passing was fantastic. Away from home, it is perhaps the job of the striker to come deep onto him, but I felt Richarlison could have tucked in to make a box to keep Leeds to one side. But all Phillips did all evening was switch play - it was a Paul Scholes performance. He had acres of space and ran the game from minute one to 90.

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When the second half started, I expected to see something different from Everton, and a plan to stop him but the space around him was unbelievable. It is a problem for coaches because of how teams play now.

If you're coming up against Leeds United, who are brilliant as a team - not just Kalvin Phillips - he has got to be a major part of your team talk. Exactly the way Paul Scholes was when you came up against Manchester United.

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You had to stop Scholes pulling strings in midfield, and against Everton last Saturday, Phillips produced one of the best performances from an individual I've seen this season. If you face Leeds, you've got to stop him. Maybe it's a job Tammy Abraham can do in dropping deeper.

When Liverpool played Chelsea and Jorginho was running games, the holding player Fabinho would make up that ground, going out to press. Everton didn't get close to Phillips - whether it was the wide players coming in or the midfielders getting closer but they didn't - and that was one of the reasons why they lost the game.

How to follow Chelsea vs Leeds

Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates scoring against Everton
Image: Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates scoring against Everton last weekend

Chelsea vs Leeds will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7.45pm on Saturday; kick-off at 8pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Free highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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