You are sure he doesn't stand a chance? I think he has a chance, although it would be difficult. But why not? What else would be the goal of the team apart from stage wins by van der Poel, for which he doesn't need that much help.Of course it's pompous. That doesn't necessarily mean it wouldn't make sense.
But I would much rather see a versatile guy like Van der Poel go for it. But I too think they will most likely try with Philipsen and then realise that he doesn't stand a chance.
And Philipsen is fast, he's good at positioning, he has already won against Jakobsen. If some others take points from each other in the intermediate sprints or uphill finishes it could be possible. I think they would just really need to stand behind him, not take both Merlier and him, that wasn't a great recipe... Or you bring only Merlier. Just def. not both.