Liverpool found their luck deserting them as they drew one of the toughest sides possible in their Champions League qualifier draw. They will face Hoffenheim, travelling to Germany on 15th or 16th August and then welcoming them to Anfield on 22nd or 23rd August in order to decide who will progress to the group stages.
Who are they?
The German side have been around for 118 years but this is just their ninth consecutive year in the Bundesliga after spending much of the past decades floating around the lower divisions of German football. Their fourth placed finish last year earned them a shot at Champions League football. They are perhaps best known for the youth of their manager, Julian Nagelsmann, who is just 30-years-old.
Do they have any recognisable names?
Three former Premier League players are in the German’s ranks. They are Havard Nordtveit, who returned to Germany from West Ham this summer, former Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry, who is on loan at the club from Bayern Munich, and ex-Leicester man Andrej Kramaric. The club are also Roberto Firmino’s former team.
What’s their Champions League history like?
Non-existent. This is the club’s first campaign in Europe in their history, coming after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga last season.
What can Liverpool expect?
The side are young and energetic, much like Liverpool in many ways. Nagelsmann likes his side to burst down the wings and look to deliver crosses, with set pieces one of his team’s specialties where they make look to catch Liverpool out.
If they do have a weakness, it is that, like Liverpool, they often struggle to protect a lead. From the ‘we will score one more than you’ school, the side are not a typical German outfit and instead look to bomb forward and score from distance rather than sit deep and remain disciplined defensively.