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Hoffenheim plays their first ever European match on Tuesday, and while they’re excited for the occasion, they were certainly hoping for an easier draw in the UEFA Champions League playoffs. The Bundesliga side will be underdogs when they take on Liverpool.
Qualifying for Champions League could be a massive boost in Jürgen Klopp’s bid to keep some of his top players who are grumbling about leaving, while attracting top talent to Anfield as well. Failing to get a positive result in the first leg would be a huge blow.
But Hoffenheim is a much different situation. The club is much earlier in its progress towards becoming one of Germany’s big clubs than they thought they’d be. Their success has attracted a lot of attention to 30-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann, and led to Bayern Munich poaching the club’s two best players — Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle. They’ve been replaced by Håvard Nordtveit and Justin Hoogma, who will need to make an instant impact. Bayern was also nice enough to loan Serge Gnabry to Hoffenheim as a little thank you gift.
While Hoffenheim come into this match with no reported injuries, Liverpool are without some key players. Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, and Mamadou Sakho are out for sure, while Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne are major doubts and not expected to play.
How to watch Champions League playoffs online
Match date/time: Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim, Germany
TV: FS1 (U.S. – English), Fox Deportes (U.S. – Spanish), BT Sport 2 (U.K.), TSN4 (Canada), Sky Sport 1 (Germany).
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