Belfast Telegraph

Bilic and Benitez all fired up for big scrap between Newcastle and West Ham

By Staff Reporter

Slaven Bilic has played down today's showdown with Rafael Benitez by insisting: "It's hardly Mayweather versus McGregor!" The sporting spotlight this weekend will be firmly fixed on boxing champion Floyd Mayweather's controversial bout with UFC star Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in the early hours tomorrow.

But around 12 hours earlier another grudge match takes place when Newcastle manager Benitez faces West Ham boss Bilic.

It may look a distinctly lightweight clash on paper, with the Magpies and the Hammers without a point to their name so far.

But Benitez, frustrated by Newcastle's transfer business this summer, has - not for the first time - been linked with under-pressure Bilic's job this week.

However, Bilic insisted: "I don't pay any attention to that. To talk about it after two games of the season is a bit ridiculous.

"It's a single game. They need points, I need points. They are looking forward to the game, they are playing at home, they lost their first couple of league games as we did.

"But do I think it's like Mayweather against McGregor? No."

Belfast Telegraph

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