With only one official match played so far, Hoffenheim and Liverpool will fight for a ticket to the Champions League’s group stage
This would be an achievement that would increase the prestige of the club who manages to do it.
For Hoffenheim, it would really be their first time amongst the best in Europe, while for Liverpool it will be an eventual return, after not being able to go further than the group stage in 2014/15.
Hoffenheim has made their debut on European competitions with great pressure on their manager Julian Nagelsmann.
The 30-year-old manager led his team to this totally unexpected level. They were extremely unlucky on the draw, since they got Liverpool, which is one of the toughest teams in this play-off.
Hoffenheim has only played a single official match so far, winning against Rot-Weiss Erfurt, 1-0, in a German cup match (DFB Pokal). During their pre-season, they beat the likes of Standard Liége, Derby County and Bologna.
Liverpool had a crazy start to this season’s Premier League, giving away a 3-3 draw away at Watford by conceding a goal in the final minutes of the match.
Hoffenheim vs Liverpool Pick:
Jurgen Klopp’s team has shown a lot of offensive quality, but they got comfortable with the result, and trying to just defend that result cost them.
They lacked the concentration needed to overcome such a fierce opponent. On their pre-season friendlies, their wins against Bayern Munchen and Athletic Bilbao were great results.
Playing away from home, Liverpool will look to score to take some advantage for the 2nd leg, while Hoffenheim might feel the pressure and the weight of the responsibility against such a powerful opponent.
However, it is safe to assume that, if the German team is well prepared for their opponents’ threats, this can become a battle of two different managerial generations (who mutually influence each other).