Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte will lock horns on Friday night at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea host Liverpool (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports) and there’s plenty of respect between the duo.
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Klopp, 49, spoke glowingly about Conte’s attributes to the media on Wednesday ahead of the monster clash between two teams hoping to at least finish in the top four this season.
Both managers are extremely animated on the sidelines and will be full of character on Friday as their playing philosophies clash in west London.
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Liverpool boss Klopp was particularly complimentary about Conte and praised the success he’s had up until joining Chelsea this summer, comparing him to Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.
“He looks quite emotional even when they don’t score. I watched the game and it was nice that whoever was the broadcaster showed a few situations when they missed a goal how he reacted. Obviously he is involved in the game but that is not the most important thing. The very important thing is that a great manager, he is a successful manager, something like the Pep Guardiola of Juventus if you like,” Klopp said.
“He created a special style of play and had a very successful time there then very successful with the Italian national team. It is quite impressive what he did until now. Again, I don’t play against Antonio Conte and it would be again a problem for us, so I am happy to do this because he was a great player… Our teams, I know about our respect for Chelsea and I’m pretty sure from the other side it is exactly the same.”
These two are among the great managers in Europe at this point in time.
Klopp’s high-pressing style is finally showing signs of becoming consistent at Liverpool, while Chelsea look very solid under Conte and his team are fighting and scrapping for every ball as the Italian boss demands supreme organization from his players.
No matter what happens on the pitch on Friday, it is sure to be a spectacle on the sidelines and the energetic duo of Klopp and Conte collide.