Declan Rice relishing Monday night duel with England teammate Jack Grealish
Little over a week ago, Declan Rice and Jack Grealish were teammates as England thrashed Iceland 4-0 in the UEFA Nations League.
West Ham United star Rice scored his first international goal, while Aston Villa captain Grealish enhanced his growing reputation with a virtuoso creative display as Gareth Southgate’s side completed their Group A2 campaign with a comprehensive victory at Wembley.
After the game, Rice responded to Grealish’s Instagram post with the message ‘Pleasure to play with you bro’.
On Monday evening, the pair will share a pitch again, but this time on opposite sides, as the Hammers host the Villans in the Premier League at London Stadium.
Rice and Grealish, who are expected to captain their respective teams, will put their friendship to one side and give everything to secure the three points.
They’ve made fantastic signings and obviously I know some of their lads really well, so it’s going to be a battle and I know how good their players are
Speaking to West Ham TV following last Sunday’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United, the No41 said the Irons will need to be at their best to beat a Villa team who go into the weekend one place above their hosts in seventh.
“I think Villa have shown this season that they’re a completely different team,” Rice observed. “They’ve made fantastic signings and obviously I know some of their lads really well, so it’s going to be a battle and I know how good their players are.
“They’re playing really well at the moment, but we’ve got the joint second-best defensive record in the Premier League.
“We’re moving in the direction the manager wants us to go so, while it’s going to be a battle, we’re going to be ready for that.”
Monday’s 8pm kick-off will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HD and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners.