West Ham United coach Slaven Bilic is backing Antonio Conte to make a big impact at Chelsea, but is confident his side can cause problems for their London rivals when they meet in the Premier League on Monday.
Conte will oversee his first competitive fixture at Stamford Bridge when 2015 champions Chelsea host West Ham having guided Italy to the quarter-finals of this year’s European Championship.
“Antonio Conte is a great manager and wants to change the way they approach the game and the principles. I rate him very highly,” Bilic told reporters on Thursday.
“We expect a tough game on Monday.
“I am sure he will do a good job there,” the Croatian coach added. “We beat the big teams away last season and it was a good experience for us.”
Bilic, who guided West Ham to seventh last season, also confirmed that his side are close to completing the signing of Argentine forward Jonathan Calleri.
“We will sign Calleri and he will be with us pretty soon depending on the work permit,” Bilic added. “He is a top striker and we have a good balance in the squad.”
Deportivo Maldonado forward Calleri was part of the Argentina Olympic squad who were eliminated in the first round after taking four points from their three group matches.