Antonio Conte is no stranger to derbies. After all, in his time as player and then later head coach of Juventus, he participated in some of the most intense ones in Italy, both against in-town rivals Torino FC as well as the Derby d'Italia against Internazionale of Milano.
"I liked these types of games, for sure. They are not normal."
"In Italy, when we played the derby against Torino it wasn't easy. I remember a lot of games like that when I was a footballer, not only as a manager. These games are unpredictable. It's normal in Italy too to have very tough games when you play against the big teams: Juventus-Inter, Juventus-Milan, against Roma. In Italy, I can tell you about it from my experiences in these types of game against Torino, and when I played with Lecce against Bari — these games are very tough and the supporters feel this. For sure there is a fantastic intensity during the game."
Having said that, Conte sounds a bit wary of placing too much emphasis on Saturday's big game between Chelsea and Spurs, both in terms of the three points on offer and what it means as far as Spurs hilarious futility streak at Stamford Bridge goes.
"I don't like the stats, because they are cold. You have to live the moment. If you speak about our unbeaten run I can reply to you that in this championship Tottenham are unbeaten, and for this reason it's important to play with good intensity, to try to win, and to change that situation."
"In London there are a lot of teams, but this game is special for our fans. It's not important to look at the past and I hope it's not difficult to keep focus. We are working a lot to improve our football, to play good football, and I think during the game we must be focused on the game, and then to put our right passion in. I want my players to play with great intensity and great passion, but always in the right way."
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Spurs have not beaten Chelsea at the Bridge since 1990, but in terms of the season, the winner of this season's Battle of the Bridge won't win or lose the war.
"For sure, you don't lose a championship in one game. In my experience you lose or win a championship over many games. Precisely 38."
"I always told that to my players. Don't find an excuse and fight, because you lose or you win for 38 league games, not for one game."
-Antonio Conte; source: Sky