Liverpool to face Hoffenheim in Champions League

Celtic will play Kazakhstan side Astana for place in group stages

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will play Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-off. Photograph: Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will play Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-off. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Liverpool will play Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-off round.

The draw sees Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp return to his native Germany and striker Roberto Firmino take on his former club.

Scottish champions Celtic meet Kazakhstan side Astana, who they beat in the third qualifying round last season.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will be favourites against Hoffenheim, but they will be tested by a team who survived relegation under Julian Nagelsmann before pulling off a surprise top-four finish. They never lost a single Bundesliga game under the manager, with 12 wins and six draws.

The first legs will be in Germany and Glasgow, on August 15th or 16th. The return legs are the following week, with Liverpool playing Crystal Palce in the Premier League in the weekend between the two. Liverpool play Arsenal the following weekend.

Coached by 30-year-old Nagelsmann — the youngest manager in Europe’s top five leagues — Hoffenheim had the second-best defensive record in the division and only champions Bayern Munich suffered fewer defeats.

Meanwhile Napoli meet Mario Balotelli’s Nice. The 10 playoff winners will join the 22 sides who have already qualified in the draw for the group stages.

Full draw:

Qarabag v FC Copenhagen
APOEL v Slavia Prague
Olympiacos v Rijeka
Celtic v Astana
Hapoel Beer Sheva v Maribor
Istanbul Basaksehir v Sevilla
Young Boys v CSKA Moscow
Napoli v Nice
Hoffenheim v Liverpool
Sporting Lisbon v Steaua Bucharest

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.