Antonio Conte is one of the best in the world, says Pep Guardiola
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 03/12/16 12:41pm
Pep Guardiola says Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches in the world ahead of the pair's meeting this Saturday.
City host Chelsea at the Etihad in the early Saturday kick off, live on Sky Sports 1, in what will be the first-ever managerial face-off between Guardiola and Conte in their careers.
Chelsea have won their last seven Premier League games to hit the summit of the table and Guardiola hailed the Italian's impact at Stamford Bridge.
"Conte is one of the best coaches in the world right now," the City boss said. "I learned a lot from my time in Italy. They have no problem staying in the box for 89 minutes and using amazing counter-attacks.
"He made an exceptional job in Turin with Juventus and with the national team as well.
"You realise his strengths in his team. He has won seven in a row, and it shows how good Chelsea are doing.
"They were a contender to win the Premier League from the beginning, now maybe more than before. It's a good test for us."
Guardiola will be hoping his side can return to wining ways at home following successive 1-1 draws against Southampton and Middlesbrough in the league.
One factor which may pay dividends is the fact that for the first time under Guardiola's stewardship, City have had a full week off.
"We were 11, 12, 13 days without a day off. We like to play football, but for everybody, sometimes it's good [time off]. It was good," Guardiola added.
"I like to give days off to the players to think about other things when you have a lot of games in a row.
"That's why we had two days off and were training three days to prepare not only the game against Chelsea but the next ones."