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59.5 average passes v 84.1% pass success: The two men in the engine room as Leeds take on West Brom

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Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion go head-to-head on Friday night, with an invaluable three points up for grabs at Elland Road.

The pair have battled it out at the top end of the league table for the vast majority of the campaign, with a spot in automatic promotion places still very much a possibility for both sides.

Both teams will be looking to bounce back after defeats in their most recent fixtures, with Leeds dropping out of the top two at the expense of Sheffield United following a 1-0 defeat to QPR in midweek.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites and Darren Moore’s Baggies both possess real attacking quality going forward, but don’t look the most convincing going backward, so a game awash with plenty of goals could be particularly likely.

However, with a massive three points at the stake, it could be a very cagey affair at Elland Road, and the game could therefore be won in midfield. Leeds will be depending on Kalvin Phillips, whilst the Baggies will be hoping that Jake Livermore can get back to his best.

Here, we compare the duo’s stats from the season so far, ahead of a massive game on Friday night:

It is clear to see that both Phillips and Livermore have been imperative in Leeds and West Brom’s promotion push this season – both midfielders have made 31 appearances, and both have found the back of the net just once.

It’s defensively where Phillips wins this battle however, the 23-year-old holds the midfield magnificently well on his own, making an average of 2.5 clearances per game compared to Livermore’s 1.1 clearances per game.

Going forward, Phillips also comes out on top, with the midfielder playing an integral role in connecting defence to midfield, and midfield to attack. The holding midfielder, as well as produced three assists compared to Livermore’s two, has completed an average of 59.5 passes per game this season, which is currently 15.2 more than Livermore.

Despite accruing a pass success rate of 82.5% this season, which is marginally less than Livermore’s rate of 84.1%, Kalvin Phillips comes out on top heading into Friday night’s massive game at Elland Road.

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