It is time for Liverpool to show their class as they prepare for a massive Champions League Playoff clash against German club Hoffenheim on Tuesday. The first leg will be played at Rhein-Neckar Arena in Germany while Liverpool play host in the reverse fixture at Anfield, and both teams have their eye on securing Champions League spot.
Liverpool might be one of the successful teams in Europe, but their absence in such a stage has been felt by the fans at Anfield. Champions League nights are always special as the Kopites provide a special atmosphere during the night, making it a memorable one. Such kind of nights can only made possible for the upcoming Champions League main season possible if Liverpool beat Hoffenheim in the two-legged encounter.
The Reds need to keep their head high and concentrate on the match ahead and forget about the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga, which has been bagging most headlines. It is time for Liverpool to grab the spotlight with good football against the German side, but there is a huge need for the team to improve after their 3-3 draw against Watford in the Premier League.
Offensively, they will miss Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, but they have plenty of firepower in the form of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Captain Jordan Henderson needs to get the best out of his players in this crucial encounter against a determined side like Hoffenheim.
The German club will be looking to show their real strength at home, and their 30-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann has good ammunition to beat Liverpool. They are a side, who will look to build from the back, and with players like Andrej Kramaric and Sandro Wagner in the forward line, the German side have goals in them.
What makes them a huge threat is their strength at set pieces. Considering Liverpool being drastically poor defending dead ball situations, Nagelsmann will ask his players to be aggressive and look for goals.
With the tactical genius and passion from Nagelsmann, who seems to resemble some similarity with Jurgen Klopp, Hoffenheim could spoil Liverpool's Champions League dream.
This match could be an entertaining one, with Liverpool and Hoffenheim expected to play a high line, resulting in multiple counter-attacks. Though the first leg is extremely important, one has to understand that the job is only half done as the Playoff concludes at Anfield after the second leg.
Where to watch live
Hoffenheim vs Liverpool is scheduled for 8:45 pm local time, 12:15am IST, 7:45 pm BST, 2:45 ET. Here is the TV and live streaming options.
India: TV: Sony Ten 2
Germany TV: Sky Sports 1.
UK :TV: BT Sport 2.Live Streaming: Watch BT Sport
USA :TV: Fox Sports 1. Live Streaming: Fox Soccer Match Pass
Australia :TV: BeIN Sports. Live Streaming: BeIN Sports Connect