Mazzarri and Conte vow to shake hands, but not as friends

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri before the match

The pair enjoyed a frosty rivalry during their time in Serie A and are set to do battle again on Saturday.

Watford manager Walter MazzarriWatford manager Mazzarri says he will shake Conte's hand on Saturday

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri says he will shake hands with Chelsea's Antonio Conte on Saturday, but has played down talk of the pair becoming friends, the Daily Mail has reported.

Both managers enjoyed something of a turbulent relationship in Serie A, with Mazzarri in charge of Napoli and Conte in the Juventus hotseat.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

An intense rivalry saw both managers compete for the Italian league title, with Mazzarri even accusing his compatriot of copying his 3-5-2 formation.

Now the pair are set to return to their old rivalry in the Premier League as Watford welcome Chelsea to Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Southampton's Nathan Redmond in action with Watford's Valon Behrami

Speculation surrounding how the two will behave around each other has been rife, but Mazzarri insists there will no touchline fireworks, adding he will shake the hand of his opposing number. However, he has stopped short of calling Conte a friend.

According to the Daily Mail, Mazzarri said: 'Friendship is a very important concept. I respect Conte as a person and a manager. I respect him a lot but friendship is a lot, it's another thing.'

Chelsea's Eden Hazard scores their first goal from the penalty spot

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

Conte himself is similarly keen to move on, with the Evening Standard quoting him as saying: "I have great respect for him and for his work. He's a good manager. I will shake his hand, no problem."

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