Liverpool’s playoff opponents for the 2017 UEFA Champions League group stage have been announced and after a two-legged encounter, either Liverpool or Hoffenheim will play in the tournament proper.
One of the toughest draws available to them, Liverpool have drawn Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the group stage play off round of the Champions League.
While it might be construed as a negative to be pitted against a strong side like Hoffenheim, Liverpool tend to perform better against teams that come out and attack.
It was teams like Burnley and Swansea that the Reds really battled against last season. Additionally, Jürgen Klopp will have plenty of info on a side he will have faced several times during his tenure as Borussia Dortmund manager.
With Liverpool playing the first leg of the tie at Hoffenheim, it means that Roberto Firmino will return to Germany to face his old club. On top of that, the second leg will be played at Anfield which is always something of a power play for Liverpool.
Although Liverpool have a few Premier League games to play before the first leg, it will be Klopp’s first real priority this season to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.
Liverpool’s return to the Champions League is something that the tournament needs. It must be said that despite the Reds not being near the side they were in the 70s and 80s, the competition needs the heritage that clubs like Liverpool and AC Milan bring.
With three weeks to go until the first leg, it will be interesting to see how Klopp’s ideal starting XI shapes up and who will start the game which holds so much importance for Liverpool.
Are you happy with the draw? If not, who would you have preferred to face?