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Mazzarri: Conte is not my friend but I´ll shake his hand

While Walter Mazzarri does not regard Antonio Conte as a friend, the Watford manager will shake his Chelsea counterpart’s hand.

Mazzarri and Conte were fierce rivals in the Serie A, when in charge of Napoli and Juventus respectively.

The Italian pair’s relationship became frosty after Mazzarri apparently took exception to what he believed to be Conte imitating his 3-5-2 formation in the race for the Scudetto.

Mazzari and Conte will go head-to-head in the Premier League on Saturday, but the former attempted to play down the rivalry.

“Friendship is a very important concept,” Mazzarri told reporters.

“I respect Conte as a person and a manager. I respect him a lot but friendship is a lot, it’s another thing.”

Mazzarri added: “Of course we will shake hands.

“We even shook hands at the meeting of the managers at the start of the season.

“There is no problem but again for me friendship is very important. I have just a few friends.”

Watford welcome Chelsea to Vicarage Road, having opened the season with a 1-1 draw at Southampton last week, while Conte’s men claimed a late 2-1 win over West Ham.

Sat 20 Aug, 2016
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