CHAMPIONS LEAGUE qualifying continues on Tuesday night. Bundesliga expert Martin Skuggevik Foss (@Skuggz) pinpoints the value angle for Tuesday’s first leg contest between Hoffenheim and Liverpool.
Hoffenheim v Liverpool | Tuesday 15th August 2017, 19:45 | BT Sport
Jurgen Klopp heads back to Germany with his Liverpool for the first time since their thrilling tie versus his former club, Dortmund. This time he’s up against one of the most up-and-coming managing talents in Germany, Julian Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann took over a year and-a-half ago when Hoffenheim were fighting relegation, and has made Hoffe into a top-four side. The Sinsheim outfit have never been in the Champions League, and coming up against a side that have claimed five European titles is sure to give Nagelsmann a true test.
Hoffenheim have lost two of their most important defensive players to Bayern Munich in Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule this summer. They’ve brought in Havard Nordtveit who can play as both a centre- back and defensive midfielder. It’s a definitive downgrade for Hoffenheim in that aspect.
The hosts have also signed Serge Gnabry on loan from Bayern who will be a good player for them. He is, however, most likely out for this match. If Andrej Kramaric can be on his highest level for this match then he and Sandro Wagner will surely cause havoc in the Liverpool defence.
After Liverpool’s opening match away to Watford there are few Reds fans who will be confident about keeping a clean sheet in Sinsheim having shipped three at Vicarage Road, but also scored three themselves.
Klopp’s brought in an excellent winger in Mohamed Salah, but the club have failed to, thus far, land their top targets in Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk. They will be without their star man, Phillippe Coutinho, along with Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and a few other less important players.
The betting angle
Liverpool are 29/20 (BetVictor) favourites to win this match; they boast a terrific front-three, but their defensive worries continue from last season and Hoffenheim had an impeccable home record last term (W11-D6-L0).
We should see a few goals here, and I wouldn’t trust either side to keep a clean sheet. Bet365 offer 8/13 for Both Teams To Score, if you fancy that but there’s better value to be found backing Over 2.5 Goals at 77/100 (Marathon).
Hoffenheim v Liverpool – Over 2.5 Goals (77/100 Marathon)