Antonio Conte has hailed Pep Guardiola as ‘the best coach in the world’ as Tottenham prepare to face Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend.
Tottenham travel to face the Premier League champions at the Etihad on Saturday evening, looking to address a concerning run of form that has seen the club lose three consecutive league fixtures.
Spurs have won three of the past five meetings between the sides in all competition, but have not won an away fixture at City since the 2015/16 campaign.
The north Londoners will face a difficult challenge against Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend, with City currently nine points clear at the top of the Premier League. Conte is expecting a ‘tough game’ but has urged his side to ‘play without fear’ against the champions.
“For sure it will be a tough game for us – but at the same time we want to try to play and we want to try to use this game also to have a step for improvement,” he told BeIn Sport.
‘”In this game you understand also the distance, the gap that you have with the other – but you want to play without fear – also because I repeat we are in a moment that we have to go through this situation if we want to have another step and the game against City we know it could be very tough.
“We know that probably they will have the possession of seventy, seventy-five minutes during the game, but we want to try to change something and also to show that we can fight.”
Conte lavished praise on Guardiola ahead of the latest meeting between the two managers, hailing his opposite number as the ‘best coach in the world’.
The Italian believes City are one of the favourites for both the Premier League and Champions League and admitted he does not see a ‘weakness’ in Guardiola’s side.
“I think that we are talking about the best coach in the world because he shows it in many teams, many different situations, that it is good to build something important and if the club supports him because when you stay in Barcelona and Bayern Munich and then Manchester City, these clubs wanted to invest in him and he repaid this trust,”’he said.
“I repeat when you see a team of Pep Guardiola you can see an idea of football and you understand that there is a lot of work into the team and this work is his idea and for this reason it’s for me in this moment is the best coach in the world.
“Manchester City in my opinion is the favourite to win the league this season and also is one of the favourites for the Champions League because we are talking about a team who are very very strong in every aspect – the squad and I don’t see weakness in this team.”