By Harvey Byrne
New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is convinced that Liverpool can win the Premier League title this season.
Chelsea face Liverpool in the first game of their USA summer tour in Pasadena on Wednesday night, but Conte has already earmarked them as a key rival for the Premier League, which kicks off on 14 August.
The former Italy manager feels that Klopp, who led Liverpool to the Europa League and Capital One Cup finals last season, can make the climb from their eighth-placed finish of last season to first in the upcoming campaign.
“Liverpool are one of the best teams in the League and I’m sure can fight to win the title,” said Conte to the London Evening Standard.
“Jurgen Klopp worked already for nine months with this team and it’s very important for him and Liverpool to understand each other.
“It’s important to work and have the time to transfer your methods and ideas of football.
“Liverpool are one of seven or eight teams that can fight at the end to win the title. I’m sure of this. Liverpool have a good team, good manager, good football, high intensity, good organisation.”
Conte joined Chelsea this summer after the Stamford Bridge side had an unsuccessful Premier League campaign, which saw them finish 10th.
The experienced Italian won three Serie A titles when in charge of Juventus and has joined the Blues after coaching his country where he ended with a 56% win ratio and qualified for this summer’s European Championships.
Klopp took charge of Liverpool after a seven-year spell in charge of Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
At Dortmund, the manager earned a reputation for playing high intensity, pressing football and bested giants Bayern Munich on two occasions.
The 49-year-old coach also won the DFB-Pokal and two DFL-Supercup’s, as well as two German Football Manager of the Year awards.