Sarri v Klopp: How do they match up?

Maurizio Sarri and Jurgen Klopp go head-to-head for the first time in the Premier League on Saturday when Chelsea host Liverpool.

The pair faced off in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday and Sarri got the bragging rights thanks to his side’s 2-1 win at Anfield. Now they are preparing for another battle of wits, this time at Stamford Bridge. But now do the pair rank alongside each other?


Klopp is the more decorated of the two as he enjoyed a trophy-laden spell at Borussia Dortmund. The German won back-to-back Bundesliga titles, one DFB-Pokal and two DFL-Supercups. He is also a nearly man, having been runner-up in two Champions League finals – one with Dortmund and one with Liverpool – and one Europa League final.

Sarri has not won any major titles in his managerial career. Despite a win percentage of 66 per cent in three seasons at Napoli the best he could manage was two Serie A runners-up spots.

Eden Hazard gave Chelsea victory at Liverpool on Wednesday. [Martin Rickett/PA Wire]


Liverpool’s Klopp have wowed the Premier League in recent years, with their extreme pace and attacking threat making them brilliant to watch. The three-pronged attack of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are a defender’s nightmare. A leaky defence has been an issue under the German, but that appears to be improving following the acquisitions of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

‘Sarriball’ could be a word that makes its way into English football’s dictionary as he is implementing a new style at Stamford Bridge. The Italian has brought in a possession-based game that moves the ball from back to front as quickly as possible, while also deploying a high press. It is also easy on the eye and has brought Chelsea some impressive results.


The German’s extrovert character shines through both on the touchline and in his media appearances. He is always up for a joke and does not take himself too seriously. He is educated, though, as he has a degree in sports science.

Sarri is not your average football manager, as prior to his move to England he regularly puffed away on a cigarette on the touchline. He too is something of an extrovert and his humour is managing to shine through his broken English. He is an intelligent man, too, as he worked as a banker up until he was 40.

Start to the season

The defeat on Wednesday was the first of Liverpool’s season. Such has been their improvement over the summer, that they are widely tipped to be the nearest challengers to Manchester City for the league title. Their still have a 100 per cent record in the Premier League and beat Paris St Germain in the Champions League opener to hint at a special season ahead for the Anfield club.

Things could not have gone much better for Sarri so far in west London. Defeat in the Community Shield apart, they have gone unbeaten so far this season – with five wins out of six in the league – and looked good in doing so. The early signs are that Sarri has taken Eden Hazard’s game to another level and if that continues, the Blues are likely to be in with a shout of silverware at the end of the season.