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Pep Guardiola saw Chelsea's Antonio Conte as "biggest threat" before even joining Manchester City

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Guardiola predicted the Italian would be his number one rival

Burnley v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City are set to face off against Chelsea this weekend in a marquee matchup, and manager Pep Guardiola did not doubt it would be any other way before the season even started.

In his biography Pep Guardiola: The Evolution written by Marti Perarnau, he identified some similarities between him and the former Italian boss.

“I remember asking him in 2015 to name two coaches with the greatest potential and, without a second’s hesitation, he said, ‘Tuchel and Conte,’” said Perarnau.

Conte has led Chelsea to the top of the table so far this year with 30 points, including seven consecutive wins featuring a 2-1 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur last week. Last year, the London club were in 14th place with 15 points through 14 matches; quite the improvement with Conte at the helm, right?

City are not far behind, though, as they sit in third place with 29 points and have the home crowd advantage at the Etihad this weekend. With an entire week to prepare, the Sky Blues have a fighting chance to take three points from the league leaders.

“The team has a superb coach, excellent players, and a preferential calendar without any European competition and therefore lots and lots of time to concentrate on training and preparation for each game,” said Perarnau. “He may well be proven wrong, but before the league kicked off Pep certainly saw Conte as one of his biggest threats.”

He has not been proven wrong. Conte is for real.