Jose Mourinho is the best manager in the world, says Neil Warnock

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is somewhat renowned for his pithy assessments of rivals ahead of important encounters but, it would appear, no such customary barbs will be traded with Neil Warnock, his opposite number for the weekend.

Crystal Palace play host to the Premier League leaders, who were last in action against Arsenal, a match that will be remembered for the physical confrontation between Mourinho and Arsene Wenger on the Stamford Bridge touchline.

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While Mourinho and Wenger may endure an onerous relationship, as the former does with several other opponents, the same cannot be said of the Portuguese and Warnock, if the comments of the latter are anything to go by.

As Palace prepare to welcome Chelsea on Saturday, Warnock has paid a glowing tribute to Mourinho, showering him with praise and marking him out as the best manager in the world. Perhaps a shared dislike for Wenger helps matters.

"I think he's the best there is, I always have done," Warnock told reporters when asked about Mourinho.

"He's great for you guys [the media], he's always quoting something.

"When he came on the scene, he was such a good-looking so-and-so as well.

"He's signed well. If they'd signed a striker in January they'd have won the league [last season].

"He's a good manager, he's a players' manager. I'm sure he's said a few things over the last 12 months that he might have regretted later but that's the way it is. It's an emotional game, you can't have it all ways.

“He's the nearest thing to [Brian Clough], really. Tactically, when it comes to the tough games, he's spot on."

Chelsea are the overwhelming favourites to continue their excellent start to the season by dispatching Palace and maintaining a record that has seen them take 19 points from an available 21 during this fledgling campaign.

Fine form

The west London club have been in quite irresistible form so far and have looked a side significantly stronger following the additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, their stand-out performers so far.

Costa is the missing link that, as Warnock alludes to, would have ensured they won the title last season, and his goals since arriving from Atletico Madrid have placed Chelsea as the leading contenders to do so this term.

The 26-year-old has scored nine times in his first seven games for Chelsea, which is a Premier League record. Fabregas, meanwhile, has provided seven assists, a total already half of the benchmark in the league last season.

Crystal Palace
Jose Mourinho
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Neil Warnock

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