CHELSEA manager Antonio Conte has a similar approach to Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho rather than Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.
That is according to ex-Premier League boss Alan Pardew.
Conte succeeded Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and has quickly taken to English football.
Having led Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, the Blues are contenders again this term.
However, United and City are strong favourites following their equally dominant starts to the campaign.
The Manchester sides have very similar records so far but have played quite different football.
City have been attacking and delivered an avalanche of goals, although their defence has often been questioned.
United, meanwhile, have looked far more resilient at the back. While scoring plenty, their comfort with one-goal leads has been noticeable too.
Chelsea are three points behind both, and ex-West Ham and Crystal Palace boss Pardew sees more of Conte’s team in United than City.
“Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is much more similar to Jose than Pep,” Pardew wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“If Chelsea go in front, Conte makes it very difficult for you to get back in the game.
“Chelsea are strong at defending set-pieces and you are left scratching your head thinking: ‘What is our route back into this game?’
“You are suddenly left needing a real stroke of luck, or a major decision to go for you, or you need different tactics to unlock this defensive machine.
“But as I said, there are different ways to win matches — Conte is clinical, Jose is ruthless and Pep goes down the flair route — which is why this is shaping up to be a brilliant season.
“Manchester City are trying to win the Premier League with style and swagger, but never rule out that arch-pragmatist Jose Mourinho.
“Because City attack so much, you might get more chances against them, but when Manchester United go a goal up, it’s so difficult to break them down.”
Chelsea host City next Saturday (5.30pm) in an early title showdown, while United welcome bottom side Palace in a 3pm kick-off.