Leeds team news: 'Huge blow' for Marcelo Bielsa over Elland Road talisman

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Journalist Pete O’Rourke reckons that Leeds’ record without Kalvin Phillips epitomises how big of a blow his injury is to Marcelo Bielsa.

The England midfielder sustained a hamstring injury against Brentford earlier this month and is facing a long spell on the sidelines.

What happened to Phillips?

Phillips would have been raring to go this season following his form at the Euros, but it’s been a relatively stop-start campaign for the 26-year-old.

He was an unused substitute for the opening day defeat at Man United, although he started the next six Premier League games. But a minor calf strain forced him to withdraw from the England squad for the October internationals and also sit out the games with Southampton and Wolves.

Phillips then missed the next six Premier League games but suffered another setback early in the second-half of the draw with the Bees.

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Days after the injury, Phillips underwent successful surgery on his hamstring, but could now miss several Premier League games.

Since Phillips’ injury, Leeds have lost 3-2 at Chelsea before suffering their biggest ever Premier League defeat, losing 7-0 at Man City. Bielsa’s side have now collected just one point from the five games that Phillips hasn’t featured in this season, which doesn’t bode well moving forward.

Three of those games were away to the big-six, but Leeds also lost seven of the nine Premier League games without the midfielder last season.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

What did O’Rourke say about Phillips’ injury?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Phillips’ injury is a huge blow. You can talk about all of the other injuries at Leeds, but he is the talisman for Bielsa’s side.

“They have a 17 percent win ratio and a 0.5 points per game without Phillips in the Premier League, compared to a 50 percent win rate and a 1.6 points per game with him. That just says it all for me.”

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How many games could Phillips miss?

Injuries are never ideal at any stage of the season, but the timing could hardly have been worse for Leeds ahead of the hectic festive schedule.

Earlier this week, The Athletic revealed that Phillips is set to be sidelined for at least two months.

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Should that be the case, he’ll miss Leeds’ next eight Premier League fixtures, which includes a trip to Anfield, and he could also be unavailable for the FA Cup tie at West Ham, one of two visits to the London Stadium in the space of eight days next month.

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