Former Leeds United defender Tony Dorigo believes Kalvin Phillips is already a better midfielder than West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Friday night’s game at Elland Road sees the two England international goes head to head in what promises to be a tantalising match-up.
Speaking on LUFC TV, Dorigo gave his thoughts on comparisons between the two players, explaining why Phillips holds the advantage: “He [Rice] has a good engine and he is a good leader as well as he is driving his team-mates on and him being there is impressive.
“He is integral to West Ham, but is he as good as Kalvin Phillips in that position? No, but he is not bad.
“I just look at what they can do and if you think about the passing ability going forward of Kalvin; those quarterback passes 50-60 yards, Declan can’t do that.”
The pair are currently battling it out for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England side, with Rice a current favourite of the Three Lions boss.
Phillips to be the key man for Leeds once again
The Leeds United star comes into the game in great form, WhoScored have awarded him match ratings of 7.42 and 7.38 for his performances against Everton and Chelsea recently.
During the defeat to Frank Lampard’s side, the England international sent an inch-perfect pass around the Chelsea defence to allow Patrick Bamford to open the scoring and it was an assist that showcased the confidence he is playing with this season.
Dorigo is right to pick up on Phillips’ passing ability when compared to Rice, with the Leeds man outperforming his international team-mate in the Premier League.
As per WhoScored, the midfielder is averaging 1.6 key passes per 90 minutes domestically this season.
Out of the two, Phillips is far more positive on the ball, with more forward passes per 90 minutes and three times as many long passes.
According to Wyscout, Phillips averages more passes into the final third (9.78 to 6.74) and into the penalty area (2.21 to 1.21) when compared to Rice per 90 minutes.
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