Hoffenheim vs Liverpool
Hoffenheim did well to progress over Erfurt away from home in German DFB Pokal competition last Friday evening, when the side overpowered the opponent with a narrow 1:0 result. Only goal was scored in 55th minute via Amiri, in a game where Hoffenheim did dominated, had much more of the ball possession and generally looked fine.
There's no doubt that their players had the match against Liverpool already in their mind and that's why the match was important to win, which they fully did and somehow looked fine on the field, simply by doing what was needed to progress further. Out of more notable friendly matches, Hoffenheim lost to Genoa, but won over Derby and most recently, had a 3:0 victory over Bologna last week.
Hoffenheim will probably be playing in 3-5-2 formation with Kramaric and Wagner as forwards. Forward Adam Szalai is out with calf injury, while doubtful for this match remains newly signed forward Florian Grillitsch from Werder Bremen. Sandro Wagner was an injury doubt, but should be ready to start in this one.
Liverpool, didn't actually entered the Premier League in the best possible way, as the team comes from a point taken away from home against Watford last Saturday evening coming from a 3:3 draw. No doubt that the result wasn't a positive one for the Reds, since they were favorites but also had the lead till third additional minute of the second halftime.
Players of Watford looked more concrete in the first halftime and took the lead already in eight minute via Okaka, while the guests leveled up via Mane in 29th, just t see Doucoure bringing the home team into the lead just three minutes later. However, the Reds reverted the scoreline with much better performance in the second halftime when they took the lead via goals from Firmino and Salah in 55th and 57th minute. As said, once again lack of concentration in defense cost the visiting side too much, as the hosts leveled up in third minute of additional time via Britos from a set piece.
Visitors from England are set to play in some version of 4-3-3 formation with Salah, Firmino and Mane as forwards. They won't be able to count at injured players: right back Nathaniel Clyne, midfielder Philippe Coutinho, but also offensive players Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings.
This is one of the most difficult ties in the Champions League qualifiers, where I expect quite an open game from both sides. Hoffenheim knows that they need to exploit home advantage in this one and should be quite attacking, while Liverpool already showed that they have quality in attack, but also serious defensive gaps on the other side.