CHAMPIONS LEAGUE qualifying continues on Wednesday night. Bundesliga expert Martin Skuggevik Foss (@Skuggz) pinpoints the value angle for Wednesday's second leg contest between Liverpool and Hoffenheim.
Liverpool v Hoffenheim | Wednesday 23rd August 2017, 19:45 | BT Sport
After a terrific first match in Sinsheim, Liverpool host Hoffenheim at Anfield in what will be a very important game for both teams.
Liverpool beat Hoffenheim 2-1 in a thrilling encounter where both teams missed great opportunities. Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric missed a penalty and it could easily have ended 4-4! Hoffe controlled the majority of the match, but Liverpool had twice (8) as many shots on-target as Hoffenheim (4) overall.
For the return leg, we have an away side who must score twice to have a chance to go through, and that’s without Liverpool scoring at Anfield – the Reds have fired blanks in only four matches since the start of last season (26 games at Anfield in all competitions).
Hoffenheim have to go on the offensive
Hoffenheim, on the other hand, have kept a clean sheet in only five of their last 21 away days since the start of last season – two of these were to lower league sides in the German cup.
Realistically, Hoffenheim will have to score three goals here to qualify, which looks unlikely. The bookmakers agree with this as they’ve set the odds for Hoffenheim to progress at 17/2.
Liverpool will welcome back several players to the team who were rested at the weekend when they won 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace. Mo Salah, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Emre Can will all most likely start; Hoffenheim rested the majority of their offensive line too so they will also have fresh legs going into this match.
The betting angle
Jurgen Klopp is not one to park the bus and grind out a 0-0 result, so we can expect two attacking sides.
Liverpool have however kept a clean sheet in five of their last six competitive matches, and even though Hoffenheim tend to score away from home, I can see some value in backing Liverpool to keep a clean sheet.
Naturally it is more likely that Hoffenheim will score than not, but the odds should be lower. Bet365 are offering 2/1 for this, and I see some value in these odds.
Liverpool v Hoffenheim – Liverpool to keep a clean sheet (2/1 Bet365)