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Declan Rice has insisted it will be strictly business when he faces ‘best friend’ Mason Mount as West Ham take on Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
The young midfielders have been close mates since they were seven, having grown up together in Chelsea’s academy.
They were team-mates at the club until six years ago when Rice was released by the Blues, but on Saturday they will go head-to-head for the first time in the professional game.
You probably saw their antics from their holiday together in Dubai over the summer, with Mount’s scare prank on Rice going viral on social media.
Even their parents are close, with the pair often visiting each other’s home towns when they were younger.
It’s such a close double-act of a friendship that the England squad – where they were reunited earlier this year – have dubbed them ‘dumb and dumber’.
But come 3pm at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, they will be on opposite teams and at the very centre of a midfield battle.
And Rice has told talkSPORT he will not shy away from ‘smashing’ his pal if he has to.
“It’ll be really tough, but it’s business at the end of the day,” the West Ham ace told talkSPORT Ian Abrahams.
“We’ve spoken about it, we’re best friends but when you’re on the pitch obviously you want to do the best for your team.
“If I have to smash him in a tackle, I’ve got to try and smash him in a tackle!
“He’d do the same to me, of course, and afterwards we’ll shake hands and we’ll be friends again.
“It’ll be awkward but it’ll be really good to play against him as well.
“We’ve known each other since we were seven years sold, so it’ll be really special.
“But I’m sure our families know that when we play each other we both will want to try and get the upper hand and want to win.”