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Kalvin Phillips' tenacity key for Leeds United ahead of Yorkshire derby
Thursday, 8th Feb 2018 19:31 by @LucasMonk_

The combative midfielder could be set for a return to action at the weekend...

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips is once more available for selection having recently served a two-game suspension.

The indefatigable midfielder, 22, missed crucial matches against Hull and Cardiff City last week after receiving a tenth yellow card of the season during United's 4-3 home defeat to Millwall in January.

But with his team in desperate need of a victory against the Blades in order to keep their aspirations of a top six finish alive, Phillips could immediately return to the starting lineup as new head coach Paul Heckingbottom takes charge of Leeds for the first time against Sheffield United on Saturday.

A product of the Whites' illustrious academy, the tough-tackling Phillips possesses the battling qualities that are required to compete in local derbies - he ranks among the division's most proficient midfielders in terms of tackling having completed an average of 2.9 tackles per match - and he scored when Leeds and the Blades clashed at Elland Road in October.

The youngster's abrasiveness may occasionally result in him having the riot act read to him by referees, but Leeds sorely missed his presence in the heavy defeat to Cardiff last weekend and his tenacity and power in the challenge will be key if Heckingbottom is to secure a positive result to aid the club's play-off bid.

Phillips has made 29 appearances for Leeds in all competitions this season, scoring five goals and recording two assists.

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Photo: Action Images

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