Gordon Strachan explains how Leeds 'mayhem' could make Phillips 'key' for England in Germany showdown
Gordon Strachan has argued that Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is “key” to England’s chances of beating Germany on Tuesday evening – and has insisted that the Elland Road favourite must start for Gareth Southgate’s side.
The 25-year-old has started all three of his side’s outings at Euro 2020 to date, and put in a man-of-the-match display against Croatia in the Three Lions’ opener.
His next challenge could come at Wembley next week, with Germany looking to bring England’s journey to an end in the round of 16.
But Strachan believes that Phillips’ experience with Leeds will have prepared him well for the clash, and has highlighted the Whites hero as a potential game-changer.
Speaking to BetFair, he said: "Germany have variation, they can play through you, over the top of you and they can attack down the sides. If you're a defending team playing against one variation it becomes a bit easier. England have good players and if there's different things happening you have to think as a defender and be on your toes.
"Kalvin Philips is key for England, he's the one that makes that run, but when I see him play for Leeds he's got a bigger range of passing. Maybe that's because of the mentality at Leeds and there are so many people running about all over the place, it's mayhem there, but he seems to have a bigger range there.
"I would definitely keep picking Phillips. But the question is do you need two sitting midfielders? Man City don't usually play with two, it's usually just Fernandinho. Phillips can see the passes and he can be useful going forward."