West Ham - Chelsea: Pre-match comments

Jose Mourinho is known for his quotes and his bizarre charm, but he will be visiting the home of a man who is equally as quote-able and, perhaps, even more charismatic in the form of Slaven Bilic. The Hammers have not only upped their game on the pitch it seems, but, also on the sideline too.

Slaven Bilic

Prior to his first meeting with Mourinho, Bilic was quick to make it clear it isn't a clash of personalities which will be on show; "...it isn't me versus Mourinho, it’s West Ham v Chelsea...You can easily say that he is the best manager around, he’s been doing it for his whole career, and he is brilliant."

With West Ham in good form, and Chelsea struggling, Bilic was asked of the timing of the derby, to which he replied with exceptional honesty; "They haven’t started like we all expected them to do, and they don’t have that consistency, regarding that it’s a good time to play them. But on the other, it’s a very dangerous time to play them."

Speaking of team news on the injury front, Bilic stated Victor Moses' exclusion due to Chelsea being his parent club is a "big blow". As well as this big blow, Bilic confirmed that Winston Reid will not be fit for this game, although the injury "isn't major".

On the bright side, Bilic confirmed what many West Ham fans expected from the XI. With Moses out, Bilic has confirmed that the fit again Enner Valencia could start - which you'd expect would be in Moses' role.

Jose Mourinho

When asked about the injury situation, he simply replied "The same, exactly the same." which would mean that the Thiabut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic, Loic Remy and Pedro will all miss out again.

Perhaps more importantly than that quartet missing out again, is that when asked whether Eden Hazard would play on Saturday, Mourinho replied "I don't know." Perhaps just playing his cards close to his chest, but, with Mourinho and the media's relationship right now, it's far from a given.

On that note, the Chelsea manager was notably annoyed, regarding the recent tabloid headlines surrounding Mourinho's private life; "I treat you the same way your bosses treat me: no respect. No respect."

The Chelsea boss let on that he has been a fan of Bilic's for some time now; "As a coach, I like him a lot. Since the Croatian national team period to Besiktas and now to West Ham, I have a very good idea about him."

The cherry on top of that compliment though for Bilic, will be that Mourinho stated, "I don’t know him very well but I have the feeling that we could be friends." I'm not sure Mourinho will stick to that though, if, the Hammers do keep their bubbles flying on Saturday afternoon.