Jurgen Klopp has spoke of his admiration for Antonio Conte ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea on Friday.
Chelsea boss Conte won three successive Serie A titles with Juventus from 2011 before going on to manage Italy.
He shares many similar traits with Klopp – whose impact at Liverpool has been analysed here – in terms of his enthusiasm and involvement on the touchline, and the technical area could be as lively a place as the pitch on Friday.
“I don’t know Antonio good enough to know why he is doing it – I know for myself and, as I’ve said a few times, it just happens to me,” he said.
“He looks quite emotional, even when they don’t score. Obviously he is involved in the game, but that’s not the most important thing.
“The very important thing is he is a great manager, something like the ‘Pep Guardiola of Turin’ if you want.
“He created their special type of play and had a very successful time there and with the national team.
“It is quite impressive what he has done until now, but I don’t play against Antonio Conte.”
Stamford Bridge was the scene of Klopp’s first Premier League victory on October 31 last year when Liverpool came from a goal down to win 3-1.
They played each other in a tetchy and occasionally bad-tempered friendly on their pre-season tour of the United States during which Cesc Fabregas was sent off for a crude lunge on Ragnar Klavan and Reds midfielder Marko Grujic ended up in hospital with concussion after a clash of heads with Bertrand Traore.
There has been animosity between the two sides, and sets of fans, for the best part of a decade, but Klopp likes to think there is some form of mutual appreciation.
“I know about our respect for Chelsea and I am pretty sure from the other side there is exactly the same,” he said.
“They’ve seen us playing and they know we are not easy to play and that is what I thought most about in the last two days and what I will think about because there is always a way to create moments which you are not expecting.
“The problem is they maybe have the same plan.
“They were champions two years ago and then had a difficult year and they changed their manager.
“Last season was not a Chelsea season and now they are back on track, so we need to be ready for a real challenge.”