From Preston to Juventus: The head-to-head record of Chelsea's Antonio Conte and Crystal Palace's Sam Allardyce

Tom Doyle

Sam Allardyce takes on Antonio Conte's Chelsea on Saturday in what will be the Crystal Palace boss' 999th game as a manager.

The 62-year-old's coaching career spans three decades, with Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham and Sunderland among the ports of call before he finally landed the England job in 2016.

Allardyce's Three Lions reign ended under a cloud after just 67 days and one game in charge, but he has been busy at Palace as the Eagles have turned their faltering season around in recent weeks.

Conte's year could hardly be more different in contrast, with the Italian coach closing in on the Premier League title and in the FA Cup semi-finals to spark hopes of winning the Double in his debut season in England.

But while the two managers may look an odd couple at first, both have worked up from the lower leagues to eventually take on the top role in their home country: Allardyce with the Three Lions, and Conte with the Azzurri.

Both coaches have won promotion back to the top flight of their respective leagues: Allardyce guided West Ham into the Premier League in 2012 despite criticism of his style, while Conte won Serie B with Bari in 2009.

A tough spell at Atalanta followed, though Conte again won promotion back to Serie A with Siena in 2011 to alert Juventus - where he won five titles and the Champions League as captain - to his rising stock.

Four consecutive Serie A title back with the Bianconeri marked Conte out as a young managerial star, with the coach then taking over as boss of the national team in 2014.

Conte confirmed before Euro 2016 he would join Chelsea following the tournament, and Italy impressed despite being knocked out by Germany in a quarter-final penalty shootout.

Allardyce had only just started his England reign as Conte moved to Stamford Bridge, and the pair now meet in west London battling for three Premier League points.

Conte has the better win percentage of the duo - 57.9 to 39.43 - but Allardyce has the experience and know-how to make life difficult as Chelsea seek to strengthen their grip on the title race on Saturday.

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