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Chelsea news: Antonio Conte claims Mauricio Pochettino is one of the best managers

Tottenham and Chelsea played out a 2-2 draw last season in the corresponding fixture, which ended Spurs' title hopes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on November 5, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Conte visited a number of clubs in England in 2015 to learn about their playing style

Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur in what should be the most exciting match of this Premier League weekend. The Blues sit pretty on top of the league thanks to an incredible run of results which can be credited to a change in formation and tactics from Antonio Conte.

The Italian took over the manager’s post at the club after Euro 2016 and even though he had no experience of managing in England, he was helped by Mauricio Pochettino who provided Conte with access to Tottenham training sessions in 2015.

Conte was quoted by the Telegraph before the derby against Spurs and also claimed Pochettino was one of the best managers.

“I consider Mauricio one of the best managers.”

The former Juventus manager also wanted to thank the Argentine manager for the opportunity to see Tottenham in action.

“And yes, I tell him, thank you again because I had the possibility to visit the training ground and speak with him, to see their training session. I remember that day with great emotion because we spoke a lot about football. This was the first time I’d met him.”

A round trip across the London clubs

Conte also revealed that he visited other London clubs with West Ham United and Chelsea during that trip. In what was a bit of a surprise, the Italian even met Jose Mourinho, the man he was going to replace at the Blues.

The meeting with Sam Allardyce, Pochettino and Mourinho also allowed the Italian to learn more.

“My visit was at West Ham three days, and Tottenham and Chelsea. It was a fantastic work trip. I spoke with different managers: with Sam Allardyce, with Pochettino and Jose Mourinho here. And it was fantastic because when I have the possibility to compare my ideas and my work with the work of the others, it’s a moment where I can learn a lot.”

A tough task for Tottenham at the Bridge

Even though the Italian praised Pochettino, Chelsea are the favourites for the tie. Conte’s move to a back three for the side has seen them surge to the top of the table. Tottenham, for their part, have never won at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era and the Blues know a victory would ensure they remain on top of the league for another week.

Antonio Conte wasn’t getting sucked into any title talk at the moment and added that the Premier League is a marathon of 38 games and one game would not decide who wins the championship.

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