The hosts come into this second leg clash at Anfield with a slender 2-1 lead after Mark Uth’s late strike really makes this clash a lot more interesting than it perhaps would have been had the game in Germany ended in a comfortable 0-2 Liverpool victory.
It really would be a travesty if the Reds didn’t progress to the group stages of the competition – after all, who wouldn’t want to witness those famous Champions League matches at Anfield under the lights? We could also have another ‘Istanbul’ type moment in this year’s competition, 12 years after that known night in Turkey under Rafa Benitez.
The Reds will definitely be without Adam Lallana, with the England playmaker out long-term, whilst Philippe Coutinho and Nathaniel Clyne are both doubtful. For Coutinho, let’s be honest, he wouldn’t want to be cup tied ahead of his move to Barcelona next week, would he. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the opener in the first leg last week and is expected to continue and keep his place at right back.
For the visitors, Kevin Akpoguma is likely to be absent after missing their opening three games of the campaign. Kerem Demirbay is one to look out for as he can unpick the lock with plenty of creativity in his armoury. Sandro Wagner is another who cause Liverpool problems last week, and even with the two away goals as insurance, there’s never any guarantees with the Reds – particularly with their shaky backline.
What We Sayin’?
A Liverpool win and BTTS at 9/5 looks to have more value than other bets. We expect the Reds to just about have enough in what should be a tight game. Their pace should cause Hoffenheim problems, particularly considering their opponents will have to attack from the off in search of a couple of away goals.
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