West Ham's Angelo Ogbonna

West Ham star ready to put Conte friendship aside before Chelsea clash

Friendship

West Ham take on Chelsea in the London derby this weekend, and it seems that while Angelo Ogbonna and Antonio Conte are close friend off the field, when it comes to the 90 minutes they’re on opposing sides, there will be only one thing on their minds – victory.

Ogbonna noted that Conte has been a huge influence in his career, and that he does have a valid point when it comes to the Chelsea boss speaking about his squad size – as a big one is vital in order to perform in the top flight.

“I am still close to him,” Standard Sport report the 29-year-old said.

“He was a manager who has been very important for my career.

“He took me to Juventus and then picked me for Italy for the European games.

“I think Chelsea still are a really good team and you have to have a really big squad to compete in this league.

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“But to be fair it is not my problem right now. The problem now is for us to get something from the game.” 

Conte Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 17: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea reacts during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay between Chelsea and Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on January 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Points

Both the Hammers and Chelsea are currently desperate for points, and may be at opposing ends of the table, but they know that the derby is huge.

West Ham are still in the mix when it comes to relegation, and their crowd are an uneasy bunch at the minute to say the very least, meaning a huge defeat in a derby won’t go down well.

Meanwhile, Conte may be leaving Chelsea come the end of the season unless a massive shock occurs, but he wants to try and go out with his head held high, and the fight for a place in the top four is not over yet, meaning the club will have to do everything they can to win each game from now until the end of the season to pip Spurs to that fourth place – not to mention try and win the FA Cup.

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