Chelsea v Leeds United - key battle for Kalvin Phillips, Hakim Ziyech the dangerman and Graham Smyth's Prediction

Leeds United travel to Stamford Bridge for the first time in over 16 years this weekend.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 11:35 am
Updated Friday, 4th December 2020, 11:38 am
Chelsea celebrate. (Getty)

Here is the YEP verdict on the key battle to look out for, the man Leeds will need to stop and the score prediction.

KEY BATTLE

Kalvin Phillips v Kai Havertz

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Fresh from his Premier League performance of the season, Kalvin Phillips now must turn to one of his toughest outings.

Chelsea have an abundance of attacking options but as we've seen during Marcelo Bielsa's time at Leeds, opposition sides like to try and use ball carriers to beat the press and exploit space. If Frank Lampard wants to do the same he has a terrific option in Kai Havertz.

When Leeds are in possession, however, Havertz might not be the man to press Phillips for Chelsea. Regardless of who he faces, Phillips is unlikely to enjoy the space and time he had against Everton.

CHELSEA KEY MAN

Hakim Ziyech

A player with the ability to hurt Leeds with passes. He can open teams up and create chances for others so will hope that Leeds' attacking intent means space in which he can operate when Chelsea win the ball back.

His runs in from the right flank will take him towards Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips and either or both will have to help out whoever Bielsa picks at left-back, whether Stuart Dallas or Gjanni Alioski.

GRAHAM SMYTH'S VERDICT

This could be another superb game, if both sides take their usual attacking approach.

Leeds will need to be more clinical than they have been in their last two games but you would still expect chances to come. Keeping Chelsea out at the other end will be a difficult task, so goals look likely.

That has been said ahead of each of the Whites' last two outings and only one came along, but a clean sheet in this one would be a truly remarkable feat for Bielsa's men.

A score draw would do just fine for Leeds. I'm saying 2-2.