Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will play hosts to Hoffenheim in the second-leg of the Champions League play-off. The Reds grabbed vital away goals in the 2-1 triumph at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena last week, but they would still be disappointed by the late Mark Uth effort which has kept the tie open. The Reds had plenty of chances to score versus their German counterparts on the night, but the same could be said about Hoffenheim, who had a penalty saved by Simon Mignolet.
Players to watch for:
Sadio Mane – Liverpool: The Senegal international has made a bright start to the campaign with two goals in three outings. In the absence of Philippe Coutinho, the attacker will pose as the main threat in the Reds frontline while providing an outlet to the likes of Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Mohamed Salah. Hoffenheim are used to playing a high line in their three-at-the-back formation, and Mane could use his pace to get behind the defence to extend scores further.
Serge Gnabry – Hoffenheim: The 22-year-old was loaned out by parent club Bayern Munich earlier this summer after they signed him on a free from Werder Bremen. The Germany international rose to fame with his performance at the Olympic games last summer, and he took this form into the 2016/17 season where he contributed 11 goals for Bremen. The attacker prefers to cut inside from the left wing and he could potentially pose a threat to Trent Alexander-Arnold if he starts for Liverpool on the night.
A lot of pundits doubt Liverpool’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League proper, but their attacking prowess could just prove the difference. The Reds will concede goals with their open play and Hoffenheim will have to guard against the early pressure which often is the case with a Klopp outfit.
Liverpool 3-2 Hoffenheim
Image – Getty