West Bromwich Albion head to Elland Road tomorrow for an important clash with Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship.
Defeat last time out against Sheffield United was disappointing, with Darren Moore’s side looking to bounce back instantly against another promotion rival.
Of course, West Brom will have a psychological edge over Leeds heading into this one, having beaten Marcelo Bielsa’s side 4-1 at The Hawthorns earlier in the season.
That Saturday evening back in November, Matty Phillips was outstanding for the Baggies, scoring the important second goal and finding himself heavily involved in everything good the Baggies did.
Moore utilised Phillips in a deeper role in that clash, with the 27-year-old on the right, but tucking in to make a midfield three with James Morrison and Jake Livermore. That role suited him, with Phillips able to get on the ball in deeper positions and drive at the Leeds defence.
In the recent defeat to Sheffield United – Phillips’ return to the starting XI – Moore opted to use him on the right of a front three, with Phillips struggling to have the same impact and lasting only 64 minutes.
Heading into this one, Phillips will be hoping Moore’s tactics suit his game and he finds himself deeper in the side, where he can, again, really hurt a vulnerable Leeds side.
Leeds will commit men forward, particularly at home, and there will be space between their defence and midfield.
That’s the area where Phillips will want to drive into, just as he did throughout the 90 minutes in the reverse fixture.
The psychological edge West Brom have this weekend is something that’s going to be highlighted time and time again, with their performance against Leeds highlighting every weakness Bielsa’s side have.
Phillips was key that evening and getting him back in his most dangerous position is going to be important as the Baggies go in search of a crucial reaction.