Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to a disappointing eighth-place finish in the 2015-16 Premier League campaign after the former Borussia Dortmund manager took over the reins from Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.
Conte, meanwhile, was appointed as Chelsea manager after the west London side finished in tenth place following a dismal defence of their Premier League crown under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink.
Liverpool were 2-1 winners against Conte’s side at Stamford Bridge in September thanks to goals from Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson. The Reds have also won their last four Premier League games.
Chelsea will host reigning Premier League champions Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday before Liverpool take on bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Monday night.
However, former Blues legend Zola doesn’t necessarily believe Chelsea and Liverpool have a big advantage in the race to secure a return to the Champions League thanks to a lack of European football this season.
“They will both be trying to make that count but it is a question of whether they will have the strength to make it count,” Zola is quoted as saying by The Daily Mirror.
“Teams like Manchester City and Arsenal have so many quality players they can rotate and still be competitive indifferent competitions. So Chelsea and Liverpool will have to keep up a very high standard to make the advantage tell.”
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