Exclusive: Phillips delivers early-season Leeds verdict after PL fixture list revealed
Kevin Phillips has admitted that it will be “extremely tough” for Leeds United to get anything in their opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool next month.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Jason Jones, the former England international claimed that it will be better for the Whites to come up against Jurgen Klopp’s men earlier in the season, but still suggested that they face an uphill task against the champions.
Marcelo Bielsa will take his side to Anfield on September 12th for their first Premier League clash in 16 years.
And while he has conceded that a positive result is not an impossibility, Phillips has also delivered a fairly blunt assessment of Leeds’ chances.
When asked whether it was likely that the Whites would cause an upset on Merseyside during an interview with Football Insider, he said: “No, but I would say that from experience, you would rather play these big teams at the beginning of the season.
“You might just catch them cold. Considering the season Liverpool just had, you might catch them on an off-day.
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“Do I see it happening? Certainly at Anfield, no. Maybe if it had been at Leeds, I know there’ll be no supporters there, but possibly I could have seen them getting something.
“I just think playing the big teams, you’d rather be playing them first, second, third week of the season. When you get six or seven games in, once they start getting a little run together, then it can be extremely difficult. Never say never, but it will be extremely tough.”
Leeds will follow their clash against Liverpool with a visit from newly-promoted Fulham and a trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United.
Other notable fixtures include the match against Manchester City on October 3rd, the showdown against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on December 5th, and the away game at Old Trafford against Manchester United later that month.
In other Leeds United news, the club have agreed a blockbuster new deal and an announcement is imminent.