The Rovers' assistant manager was at Gresty Road as a player before a serious knee injury put paid to his playing career.
That saw McPhillips move into coaching at Crewe, spending almost 14 years at their renowned Academy before moving to Rovers 2006.
Speaking to Rovers Player
, McPhillips said: "It is a special game for me. I played for Crewe but I got injured and that was the end of my playing career and the start of my coaching career.
"I've got fond memories of the place, I think I was there for 16 years, I've a lot of friends there and it is a lovely club that do it the right way in developing their players."
McPhillips is expecting another tough pre-season match, but doesn't believe it will be as bruising an encounter of the match against Portimonense out in Portugal.
"You always know what you are going to get from a Crewe team, they are going to play some football.
"I don't expect it will be as competitive as the Portimonense game, but I expect it to be a real test with the football.
"They are renowned for doing well pre-season in all their games, one of the best teams in pre-season, it is always a young team, they've got a conveyor belt of good young players.
"So it will be nice to see some old friends and some of the players on the pitch I used to coach when they were tiny tots."
"Hopefully we can play a little better than them on the night and do well against them."
Supporters who haven't yet purchased their tickets for this evening's match can get them from the ground ahead of the 7.30pm kick-off.
Rovers supporters are also welcome in the fans bar by the away end prior to the game.
Tickets for the game are available from the away end ticket office, prices are £8 Adults, £4 Seniors over 60 and £2 for Under 16s.
subscribers will be able to listen to full match commentary online.