Liverpool draw Hoffenheim in Champions League play-off tie

Liverpool have been drawn against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in their Champions League play-off.

The winner will advance to the Champions League group stage, as Jürgen Klopp heads back to Germany.

The first leg will take place in Germany on Tuesday, August 15 with the return leg at Anfield on Wednesday, August 23.

The tie will also see a return for Roberto Firmino to his former club. The Brazilian forward spent four years at Hoffenheim, where he scored 38 goals for the club.

Who are Hoffenheim?

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim were the surprise package in last season’s Bundesliga, finishing fourth spearheaded by former Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric.

The side is coached by 30-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, who won the German Manager of the Year award last season ahead of Carlo Ancelotti and Thomas Tuchel.

Only Bayern Munich conceded less goals than Hoffenheim last season, but they did lose two key players to the champions as Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy both made the switch this summer.

Bayern did return the favour however, loaning former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry to them after he lit the Bundesliga up at Werder Bremen.

Can Liverpool go through?

Hoffenheim will definitely be a tough test for Klopp’s men, and one of the tougher draws they could have managed at this stage of the competition but the reds will no doubt be favourites.

Klopp has solved some of the problems facing Liverpool last season, bringing in Mohamed Salah from Roma and Andrew Robertson from Hull City.

It is also unlikely that Hoffenheim will sit in a deep block, which will aid Liverpool as they often struggled to break down a team sitting back, something Klopp has noted already during pre-season.

Should Liverpool go through, it is thought that they would be seeded in pot three for the group stage draw.