Liverpool FC draw Hoffenheim in Champions League play-off

Jurgen Klopp

This was perhaps the hardest draw Liverpool could have received; Hoffenheim in the final Champions League qualifying round.

With the first clash set to take place at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on August 15, and the return leg at Anfield on August 23, there are less than two weeks to prepare.

He proved his talent by taking Hoffenheim from the brink of relegation in 2015/16 to finish fourth last season in Germany's top flight to qualify for the play-offs.

Liverpool face a tricky route in to the Champions League group stages with the five time winners drawn against German side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the play-off round of Europe's most prestigious club competition. When relegation seemed certain in winter, the club made headlines by hiring 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann as head coach, making him the youngest man in Bundesliga history to take on such a role.

For Liverpool, there is plenty of danger lurking in the draw.

Should Liverpool go through, it is thought that they would be seeded in pot three for the group stage draw. "They have a lot of really good young players", he continued. They lost two of them, Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule to Bayern Munich and had a little change.

Nice, whose attack is spearheaded by maverick Italian striker Mario Balotelli, have never reached the group stage although they qualified for the old European Cup in 1956 and 1959. "We will get the benefit of it during the season", added the German manager.

But he does not want his team to rely on the Brazil ace after Liverpool's season crumbled when Coutinho and Sadio Mane missed periods of the campaign.

However, that only came through a late victor from Moussa Dembele in a nervy 3-2 aggregate win.



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