Leeds United will be looking to continue their fine form under Jesse Marsch as they head to the capital to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League, where they can nudge ever closer to safety with a win.
The Whites have picked up ten points from a possible 12, a run of form that has seen them rise five points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, prior to their Sunday afternoon clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Last time out, the Yorkshire giants ran rampant over Roy Hodgson’s struggling Watford side, though that was some two weeks ago, and the American head coach is now left with plenty to ponder heading into kick-off.
So with the England international set to return to the starting lineup for the first time since his comeback, someone will have to make way and that could be Robin Koch, who was Leeds’ second lowest-rated player, as per SofaScore figures, in the 3-0 win at Vicarage Road.
The versatile German, usually deployed in central defence, played the full 90 but he was a big liability and against a much better team, the Whites would have been punished.
He could only muster up a passing accuracy of 57%, some way off the standard set by Phillips (82.6%), whilst he also lost possession a whopping 23 times from his 59 touches – once every 2.5 touches, which is shocking for a ball-retaining midfielder.
Koch was also dribbled past on a worrying five occasions and he committed one foul, so with the prospect of facing Conor Gallagher, a much better option than any of the Hornets’ cast, Marsch has to make a big call indeed.
In the past, the £15.3m-rated calamity has been slammed for his “criminal” defending by BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand, who slammed his attempts to thwart Bruno Fernandes during a clash with Manchester United.
With Phillips returning to the side, it should be an easy, albeit a bit of a ruthless decision to drop Koch for tonight’s encounter. He should not be in the midfield at the very least as Patrick Vieira’s side could really do damage with the struggling German sat in the engine room.
AND in other news, Journalist reveals where Leeds will strengthen this summer…