Published: Mon, August 07, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Hoffenheim to face Liverpool in Champions League play-off

Hoffenheim to face Liverpool in Champions League play-off

The return leg will be at Anfield the following week on August 22 or 23.

Liverpool have one more pre-season friendly in the meantime, when they take on another La Liga side, Athletic Bilbao, this time on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 17:15. "First we'll play Watford [in the Premier League] but at the same time we'll start preparing for Hoffenheim and it's really exciting".

Nagelsmann repaid the club's confidence in him with interest, not only avoiding relegation, but crafting an incredible second season in which they finished in a Champions League spot.

Under Nagelsmann, last season they typically played in the increasingly popular 5-3-2 formation, which proved to be very flexible.

"They lost two of them-[Sebastian] Rudy and [Niklas] Sule to Bayern-and had a little change".

Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim team will contest their debut European match against Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool as they look to book their place in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Steven Gerrard for Liverpool
GETTY Gerrard made over 700 appearances for Liverpool

"This morning I joked by saying "if you want to lift the trophy you also have to overcome Liverpool" as I felt it would be Liverpool", he said.

"As we expected, we got a very heavy opponent", he told Bild.

"I had a feeling [it would be] Liverpool and I think it's a great thing for fans as well as for the media".

The round of qualifying fixtures for the 2017-18 iteration of Europe's showcase tournament took place on Friday night, with Die Kraichgauer regarded as the toughest opponent that Jurgen Klopp's team could come up against.

They could face French outfit Nice, German side Hoffenheim, Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir, Young Boys from Switzerland or Romania's Steaua Bucharest. The ex-Roma man has impressed this preseason, so much that star winger Sadio Mane has said he's willing to switch positions to accommodate the Egypt worldwide.

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