UEFA Champions League Qualifier: Hoffenheim host Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool head to Germany to take on Hoffenheim in a crucial first-leg of the Champions League qualifiers.

The Premier League is underway but we’re not short of opportunities for a punt with UEFA Champions League qualifiers coming up mid-week.

Liverpool is visiting Jurgen Klopp’s homeland to face Hoffenheim who incredibly finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season.

Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho aren’t available for Liverpool in the play-off first-leg tie, but the side is favored to get the win and take a few away goals with them into the second leg.

Hoffenheim offer up some strong opposition for the famous English club given their recent record playing at Rhein-Neckar-Arena. The German club is unbeaten at home in 17 league games and has won 21 of their last 22. Much of that is down to their defense and their eight clean sheets in their last 13 matches.

Having only lost two of their last 14 league games, Hoffenheim will back themselves, but the attacking force of Liverpool looks too much for the Germans to handle.

The quality of Roberto Firmino — who is facing his former club — with the speed of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane either side of him will trouble the 3–5–2 Hoffenheim formation. Jordan Henderson and Emre Can will be sure to send some floating long-balls over the heads of any Hoffenheim wingers floating too far forward.

Hoffenheim played with a high line throughout the preseason which would be suicidal if it goes unchanged tonight and with that, I’m jumping on Liverpool to win at +125 ($2.25).

If you aren’t as confident in Liverpool producing the goods as I am, there’s also value in the goals market.

Both teams to score at -125 ($1.57) is an attractive option sure to return in a match where attack rules the roost for both sides.

Liverpool is Liverpool. They always score goals and kicked off the Premier League season with three on Saturday. We can rely on them to get one or two past the keeper, but based on the three they conceded on Saturday and the fact they’ve allowed at least one goal in nine of their last 11 Champions League ties, it’s unlikely they entirely hold out what is a dangerous Hoffenheim front line.

Andrej Kramaric and Sandro Wagner shared the spoils up front for Hoffenheim last season, netting 12 and 11 goals respectively. Their functional and free-scoring strike partnership should see one of them find the net at least once tonight.

Then there’s Liverpool’s Firmino. He’s destined to add to his 2017–18 tally up against his former club tonight, having already netted one in the season opener.

For this match, we have three options.

Bet 1: Liverpool to win at +125 ($2.25)
Bet 2: Both teams to score at -125 ($1.57)
Bet 3: Liverpool to win & both teams to score at +300 ($4.00)

Mid-week matches aren’t always the easiest to pick but with Liverpool’s hopes of playing Champions League football tied to this qualifier, expect them to come out all guns blazing and for Hoffenheim to do the same.