Liverpool v 1899 Hoffenheim – Anfield at 19:45
Julian Nagelsmann was certainly riled after his side lost to Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League play-off match. His opposite number Jurgen Klopp claimed that Liverpool did well to keep Hoffenheim in the spaces where they wanted them and to limit the number of chances the German side had.
The young Hoffenheim boss responded by detailing the chances that Hoffenheim had, claiming that his side was much better than Klopp’s Reds and didn’t deserve to lose. It’s hard to argue with him.
The first leg was fast-paced and well-fought, but expect Wednesday’s tie to be even more intense. Nagelsmann is rattled and will want his side to prove their quality by putting Klopp’s Liverpool to the sword.
Both managers like fast-paced, high-pressing play and this could be taken to the extreme with all on the line at Anfield.
Building blocks for Liverpool
Despite a questionable start for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season, his side remain unbeaten. Saturday’s win against Watford gave them their first three points of the Premier League season and Klopp will be looking to build on the positives.
New signing Andrew Robertson finally made his Liverpool debut against the Hornets and hugely impressed, putting in a man of the match performance. It’s the first time in a while that Liverpool fans have been impressed by a left-back and the Scotsman deserves to start on Wednesday.
Sadio Mane continued to impress, notching the winning goal against Watford. He’s hit the ground running once again and Klopp will be looking forward to seeing how he and Mohamed Salah can punish Hoffenheim on the break.
The worry for Klopp will be how vulnerable his side have looked at times already this season but will be hoping these positives can be building blocks for his side.
Nagelsmann will want to prove his worth
The Hoffenheim coach is still only young – still just 30 – but this is his first chance to prove his worth on the big stage.
In many aspects, he is like a young Klopp. He’s fiery and passionate, but also tactically intelligent and knows how to set-up his sides. Expect him to line-up his side in a 3-5-2 formation yet again, looking to overload the center of the pitch where Liverpool can sometimes look suspect.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Liverpool -1.00 at 2.123
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