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Liverpool to Face Hoffenheim in Champions League

Liverpool will have to overcome Hoffenheim to make it into the UEFA Champions’ League group stage, as the two sides were paired together in Friday’s play-off draw.

The first leg of the tie will be at Rhein-Neckar-Arena on either August 15 or 16, with the second leg to be played at Anfield on either August 22 or 23.

Sevilla were pitted against Champions League debutants Istanbul Basaksehir, while Napoli face a difficult tie against OGC Nice. Elsewhere, Celtic will take on Kazakhstan’s Astana.

Below is the draw in full for the play-off round of Europe’s elite club competition, with the first team named to play the first leg at home.

While there has been plenty of excitement among the Liverpool fanbase about what the team can achieve in the Champions League this season, Jurgen Klopp’s side still need to negotiate a potentially testing two-legged tie to qualify for the competition proper.

The signs have been positive for the Merseyside club in pre-season, though. Liverpool picked up where they left off last term in an attacking sense, and in the 3-0 win against Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup, they showed tremendous potency in the final third.

As noted by Squawka Football, plenty of players have been chipping in ahead of the start of the new campaign:

Against Hoffenheim, all eyes will be on Roberto Firmino, though. The Brazilian forward was signed from the Bundesliga side in 2015 and has become a key part of Klopp’s XI during his two seasons at Anfield. He’ll want to turn in a good performance in this one.

As will the German outfit, who enjoyed a tremendous year under their 30-year-old manager, Julian Nagelsmann, last season. They were particularly strong at home, going the entire term unbeaten at Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

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