UEFA Champions League Playoff : Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Preview, Lineups, Betting Odds and TV guide

Liverpool will have to play in the Champions League playoff and their journey in the European competition starts this week.

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The current unrest at Merseyside prior to Liverpool’s Champions League playoff fixture against Bundesliga outfit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim has been the after effects of several incidents.

Despite qualifying for Champions League playoffs, the Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp failed to sort out defensive vulnerability which was exposed once more this weekend in a 3-3 draw against Watford at Vicarage Road in their opening fixture of 2017-18 Premier League season. Star midfielder Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request amidst interest of Spanish giants Barcelona. Moreover, Liverpool have lost a few of their key resources (Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Daniel Sturridge and also Coutinho) due to ever growing injury concerns prior to the new campaign.

The Reds failed to land both Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk – two of Klopp’s prime transfer targets and they are travelling to Germany with a thin lineup to encounter Julian Nagelsmann’s men who remained unbeaten at home last season and also netted the most number of goals from set-pieces which will arguably increase Liverpool’s woes.

Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Injury News:

Hoffenheim do not have many injury concerns as both Sandro Wagner and Florian Grillitsch are back following their foot injuries, but the Bundesliga outfit are expected to be without Hungarian attacker Adam Szalai due to a calf injury.

The Reds, on the other hand, will be without right-back Clyne due to muscle injury, want-away Brazilian Coutinho is unavailable with a back problem whereas Sturridge has failed to recover from a muscle strain and missed out the trip to Germany. Lazar Markovic and Mamadou Sakho have been exiled by the gaffer and the duo are set to be offloaded before the deadline. They, as expected, were not included in the 22-men traveling squad.

Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Probable Lineups:

Hoffenheim: Subs: Gregor Kobel, Ermin Bičakčić, Havard Nordtveit, Nico Schulz, Stefan Posch, Steven Zuber, Mark Uth.

Liverpool: Subs: Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Gini Wijnaldum, Dominic Solanke, Divock Origi.

Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Key Players:

Nagelsmann, the 30-year old Hoffenheim boss, guided them to earn a ‘top four’ finish in the league and will rely on forward Sandro Wagner and Andrej Kramaric who enjoyed a scintillating campaign last term. Also, Nadiem Amiri and Kerem Demirbay had an impressive run in the midfield whereas new loan signing Serge Gnabry will add width, pace and power in their attacking third.

All eyes, however, will be on Liverpool’s Brazilian Roberto Firmino who joined them back in 2014 from Hoffenheim. The new signing Mohamed Salah had a scoring debut against Watford during his second stint in Premier League and wingman Sadio Mane will play a big part in absence of Lallana, Sturridge and Coutinho.

Managers’ Speak:

 “It’s great for the media and the fans, and Jürgen Klopp will be back in Germany. We’ll do everything in our power to get through. Liverpool are a phenomenal side, but I already have an idea how we can snatch a result.” – Julian Nagelsmann

“If we’re at 95%, Hoffenheim will knock us out. They are a real tough nut to crack. It’s a great team, with a top coach and great development. I saw them play against Bologna in their pre-season friendly and how much possession they had. They have a real cheeky confidence. They were very good.”Jurgen Klopp

Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Betting Odds (Subject to Change):

Hoffenheim: 3

Draw: 3.4

Liverpool: 2.3

Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Live Streaming:

The game is scheduled on 16th August from 00:15 a.m. IST and will be telecast on Sony Ten 1 for Indian viewers. However, for online streaming links, send us a message to our official Facebook page.

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