Liverpool finished fourth on the League table last season and with it, they booked a place in this season’s Champions League play-off. Now that the draw is out Liverpool are up for a very tricky match against TSG Hoffenheim from Germany.
But who exactly are Hoffenheim and why shouldn’t Jurgen Klopp take them lightly.
Who are TSG?
TSG Hoffenheim is based out of Hoffenheim in Germany and just like Liverpool they too finished 4th in the Bundesliga last season. Hoffenheim ended the 2016-17 season with 62 points just two points behind Borussia Dortmund and they boast a terrific league record. In 2016-17, Hoffenheim lost just 4 out of their 34 league matches and the fact that the team is managed by a 30-year-old German makes it even more commendable.
Julian Nagelsmann, 30 has been associated with Hoffenheim since 2010 and finally reached the pinnacle when he was made the manager of the senior team in 2016. And in just a single season the German coach has managed to pull Hoffenheim from the 15th position to a Champions League play-off.
Why shouldn’t Liverpool take Hoffenheim lightly:
Liverpool suffered 6 defeats in the Premier League last time around and out of these 4 defeats came on the road. And add to that the fact that Hoffenheim went unbeaten at home in the Bundesliga and you will see why Liverpool must field their strongest squad when they travel to Germany.
Players to watch out for:
The first player that Liverpool should watch out for is Croatian Andrej Kramaric. The 26-year-old forward had 18 goals and 8 assists against his name at the end of last season. And he achieved these numbers while playing in 5 different positions for Hoffenheim which included 5 appearances as a central midfielder.
The other player that could cause a headache for Jurgen Klopp is German International Sandro Wagner. The 29-year-old plays as a forward and scored 12 goals for Hoffenheim in the previous season. Wagner is one of those players who is a nightmare for defenders inside the box as he is someone with terrific ariel abilities and he wins more than 50 percent on all the ariel duels that he is involved in.
The Football Fan Base view:
This is a bit of a tricky match for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp would have been hoping for a much easier tie. But having said that Liverpool should win this one without much of a fuss given the sheer amount of quality that they possess.