Leeds United internationals round up: Kalvin Phillips bags sixth England cap in 'no 8' role

LEEDS United midfielder Kalvin Phillips came through another 71 minutes for England in Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Albania in Tirana in which the Three Lions recorded a 2-0 victory.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 9:57 pm

Phillips played the full duration of Thursday evening's 5-0 cruise against minnows San Marino at Wembley as Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate shuffled his pack against the worst ranked nation in the world.

Southgate then made six changes to his side for the test against Albania but Phillips kept his place in the side to earn his sixth cap and fifth start for the Three Lions despite West Ham United's Declan Rice also coming into the XI in midfield.

Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, James Ward-Prowse, Jesse Lingard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all dropped out as Rice, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Phil Foden and Harry Kane came into the side.

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SIXTH CAP: England's Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, left, battles for possession with Albania's Elseid Hysaj during Sunday night's World Cup qualifier in Tirana. Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images.

Rice and Phillips both played in centre midfield with Phillips often more advanced than his 22-year-old team mate Rice and almost in a no 8 role.

The duo sat behind Mason Mount in the no 10 role as Southgate fielded a front three of Phil Foden on the right and Raheem Sterling on the left, either side of Harry Kane in the no 9 role.

Kane headed the Three Lions in front in the 38th minute before Mount doubled the advantage with a caressed finish three minutes after the hour.

Southgate then made his first change in the 71st minute as Phillips was taken off for Southampton's Ward-Prowse.

England will complete their March internationals with Wednesday night's fixture against Poland at Wembley.

Elsewhere on Sunday, United's Diego Llorente started for Spain in their World Cup qualifier in Georgia in which Dani Olmo's late strike sealed a 2-1 victory.

Llorente was booked after six minutes and taken off at half-time.

Gjanni Alioski also started for North Macedonia in their World Cup qualifier at home to Liechtenstein and played 66 minutes of the contest which ended in a 5-0 victory for his side.

United's Stuart Dallas was an unused substitute as Northern Ireland suffered a 2-1 defeat in a friendly against the USA at Windsor Park.

Illan Meslier is with the France under-21s squad who took on Russia in Hungary in their second group stage game of the Under-21s Euros.

Meslier, who is still awaiting his France under-21s debut, was again on the bench as Nantes stopper Alban Lafont again started in nets.

Penalties from Odsonne Edouard and Jonathan Ikone gave France a 2-0 victory.

Leeds are back in action next Saturday with the Premier League Yorkshire derby at home to bottom-placed Sheffield United.

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Thank you Laura Collins