Liverpool v Hoffeneim Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
August 21, 2017
Anfield - Champions League
Liverpool host Bundesliga side Hoffenheim on Wednesday night, hoping to secure a positive result and seal the place in the Champions League group stage.
The first leg encounter between these two sides a week ago was their first ever competitive meeting, with Liverpool sealing an impressive 2-1 win away in Germany. Goals from young defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and midfielder James Milner have handed the advantage to Jurgen Klopp's side.
Liverpool are still without a key trio of players through injury ahead of the visit of Hoffenheim, and Klopp will have to field a weakened side to secure their progress. Midfielder Adam Lallana remains sidelined with a thigh injury, with the England international set to be out for another two months following a training ground injury.
Star man Philippe Coutinho is still out of action with a back injury, although the reports of a move to Barcelona for the Brazilian international continue to gather pace, despite Liverpool's refusal of a third bid for the former Inter Milan star.
Right-back Nathaniel Clyne is out with a hamstring problem, with a return not expected until September, meaning Alexander-Arnold will retain his place in the Liverpool defence.
Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner was passed fit to start the first the first leg after overcoming an injury, to play alongside Andrej Kramaric in attack.
Defender Kevin Akpoguma, a summer signing from Dusseldorf, is out of action with a long term neck injury.
Liverpool v Hoffenheim Preview and Predictions
Liverpool were efficient in their first half performance in Germany, but they struggled somewhat after the break, allowing Hoffenheim a route back into the match.
However with the influential Anfield crowd behind them, and the advantage of two away goals, Klopp's charges should be able to ease their way into the business end of the Champions League.
They got they Premier League campaign up and running at the weekend with a win at home to Crystal Palace, following a disappointing opening day draw against Watford. Although Hoffenheim themselves got their own domestic campaign of to a positive start, beating Werder Bremen in on the first day of the 2017-18 Bundesliga.
A narrow home victory looks to be the best option, and a victory for Klopp's side is priced at 4/6.
Given the open nature of the first leg, and Liverpool's continued problems in defence, this could be a goal fest and a BTTS bet is priced at 8/15.
Liverpool to win 2-1 at 15/2
A repeat score from the first leg looks a real option, given what is at stake for Liverpool. Kloop's team are desperate to return to Europe's premier competition, and they are unlikely to be deterred from their aim. Although Hoffenheim will not give them an easy ride, and on the evidence of the first leg, they have real attacking quality at their disposal.
Sadio Mane to score first at 9/2
The Sengalese striker has scored in both of Liverpool's opening Premier league fixtures, including the winner against Crystal Palace last weekend. His pace and direct style will be a real threat to the Hoffenheim defence, and he should have some success if his midfielders can get the ball to him quickly.