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Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice are best of friends, and the two young midfielders have been close right from their time in the Chelsea academy.
Mount and Rice will go up against each other when West Ham host Chelsea at the London Stadium on Wednesday night, and Blues boss Frank Lampard has sent a message to Mount ahead of the game.
Lampard has told Mount to forget his friendship with Mount when they take to the pitch on Wednesday night.
“I think it spurs you on more, if you have a personal relationship either way – whether you’re best friends or don’t really like each other,” Lampard said.
“But you can either have the best of games in that sort of circumstance or you can become overly focused on that relationship and have a not-so-good game.
“There is only one thing I will ask of Mason… he texts him the night before the game, he smiles at him in the tunnel or whatever it is, but if and when they go up against each other he has try to beat him in every individual battle that he possibly can. And sensing Declan Rice’s character they’ll be like-minded on that one.”
On Mount’s form, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard revealed that he has been pleased with the performance of the 21-year-old.
He added: “Against Villa he was incredibly lively with the ball and gave us a lot of options going forward, then the work ethic and quality he showed against Manchester City was incredible, so he had two big performances in a week.
“It wasn’t a bad performance against Leicester, more in line with the team. I rely on Mason a lot; I did at Derby and do at Chelsea, and that decision doesn’t affect my thinking either for West Ham or going forward.”