Hoffenheim v Liverpool- 7.45pm kickoff
Hoffenheim are one of the surprise packages of the competition. They finished 4th in the Bundesliga last season- their best placing ever and have certainly come a long way in the past decade. This is the first time they’ve qualified for European football and they’ll be wanting to make the most of their opportunity.
The good news was that they automatically qualified for the playoff round. The bad news was, they drew Liverpool – legends of the European game.
The Reds have won the trophy five times in their history. Their fans are always expectant and this year, with Klopp in charge, they’ll be expecting a decent run.
Hoffenheim are in decent form with a 1-0 win in the DFB Pokal at the weekend.
Liverpool, on the other hand, drew 3-3 draw away to Watford on Saturday. It was an exciting match and though their pre-season form looked strong, it was clear then and also on Saturday, that their defence still needs work.
What they can do though, is score and it will be a surprise if they fail to hit the back of the net here.
Hoffenheim will also be aware of Liverpool’s defensive issue and will also be confident of scoring. They have a good home record, netting in 19 of their last 20 home matches.
It will make for an interesting tactical match and it would be fascinating to be able to listen in to the team talks prior to kickoff.
All things considered, we think a score draw is the most likely result, with both teams exploiting each other’s weaknesses.
F88 prediction: Liverpool