Conte reveals admiration for Guardiola philosophy

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been impressed by the quick implementation of Pep Guardiola's philosophy at Manchester City ahead of the two coaches' first meeting on Saturday.

Both coaches are new to the Premier League and have brought with them styles of play which have proved refreshing so far.

Conte's 3-4-3 formation has found a good balance between classic Italian solidity and attacking exuberance, as evidenced by having the joint-best defence in the league, while Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have shared 17 goals between them.

Guardiola has quickly instilled his desire for purposeful possession-based attacking football, scoring 29 goals - the same amount as Chelsea - and steering City to within a point of the pacesetters. 

And Conte is excited to face someone whose approach to the game he holds in high regard.

"I have great, great respect for him because Pep likes to study football, likes to always find a new solution and give an idea of football from his team," he told a news conference.

"It is not easy when you have an idea of football to [succeed with] this in a few games, but I think he's a fantastic manager and is doing fantastic work with Manchester City, because when you see this team you can see his idea of football. It will be a very tough test.

"Guardiola is doing for me fantastic work. I think he found a good situation in Manchester City because in Manchester City there are two people [sporting director Txiki Begiristain and CEO Ferran Soriano] who worked with him in Barcelona and I think he found the right situation to put very quickly his idea of football.

"When I see Manchester City I see an idea of football - I like this."

Conte is not worried that his side may not have much of the ball on Saturday, insisting that even if City do enjoy more possession, the Italian's tactics employ a quicker and more direct route to goal.

"I think every team has their own characteristics, their own idea of football," he added. "For sure all the teams of Guardiola have characteristics to have possession of the ball for many minutes.

"Every single manager has their own idea of football. My idea is more straight to go towards the goal and less possession in this case, but there are a lot of ways to get the win and for this reason I always have great respect for every idea of different managers."