That and the lack of sprint opportunies in the Tour. I count only 5 stages where Merlier would had a chance to be a part in the sprints (and two of those are after all the mountain has been done - and Merlier hasn't shown so far to have the engine to last the 3 weeks).
I don't think it would be possible to have at the same time Philipsen, Merlier and VdP with personal hopes with the stages that are in the Tour.
Given the names that are at altitude in La Plagne, I would expect the team to be something like:
van der Poel
Plus three from: