It’s been seventy-five days since Liverpool beat Middlesbrough to seal a fourth placed finish in the Premier League. This ensured that Liverpool would have the opportunity to play in Europe’s most elite competition. First, they’ll need to qualify for the Champion’s League group stages. Today, we’ve discovered that Hoffenheim will be the team Liverpool have to dispatch before they can return to the footballing summit.
The tie will be played over two legs. The first of which will see The Reds head to the Rhein Neckar Arena on Tuesday, August 15. Thankfully the decider will be played out at Anfield on Wednesday, August 23.
Glory on the Line
The clash won’t be the easiest that Liverpool could have had, but it will be necessary to continue the good progress made last season. Hoffenheim will relish their chances after a good season and a fourth-placed finish in the Bundesliga.
Roberto Firmino will make his first appearance against his old club since his move to Merseyside. The Brazilian’s knowledge combined with Jurgen Klopp’s vast experience in the Bundesliga will hopefully put them in a prime position to exploit their opposition. Failing to do so would not only put an abrupt end to their aspirations, but negatively affect morale ahead of the league campaign. Ensuring victory is the only option.
The Bundesliga outfit has lost two of its stand-out performers of last year in Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy. But Julian Nagelsmann has proved to be an outstanding coaching talent and will have ensured quality players were brought in to replace these stalwarts.
Last term, Hoffenheim proved very resilient — not losing a single match in 17 straight league games and only losing 4 all season. They will need to be as resilient against what has been a rampaging Liverpool attack this pre-season.
This summer has been both exciting and disappointing. The Reds have been excellent on the field so far and remain unbeaten after 90 mins in their 7 pre-seasons games. The curse of injuries has unfortunately continued. Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge are all doubts for the season opener to Watford. This, coupled with the lack of signings leaves Klopp with little choice in key areas of the pitch.
Klopp has made his thoughts clear on the tie and hopefully it will galvanize his charges ahead of the clash, “It was clear from the first moment when we knew who we could face that there would be no easy game. It’s Hoffenheim and that’s for sure not an easy game.”