Champions League

German test for Liverpool in Champions League playoffs

2017-08-04 13:28
Jurgen Klopp (Getty)

Munich - Liverpool must come through a tough two-legged playoff tie against Hoffenheim if they are to return to the group stage of the Champions League after a three-year absence, following Friday's draw.

Jurgen Klopp will take his Liverpool team back to his native Germany for the first leg on August 15 or 16 with the return at Anfield a week later.

Hoffenheim, whose Rhein Neckar Arena is in Sinsheim in south-west Germany, are in the Champions League for the first time in their history after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga last season.

Their coach Julian Nagelsmann, who turned 30 last month, is one of the most highly-rated young trainers in the game.

Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League last season. The five-time European champions were last in the Champions League in 2014-15, when they failed to make it out of their group.

Spanish side Sevilla have been drawn against last season's Turkish league runners-up Istanbul Basaksehir, who boast the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy in their ranks and eliminated Club Brugge in the third qualifying round.

Napoli, who came third in Serie A last season, were handed a difficult draw against Nice, third in France's Ligue 1 and victors against Ajax in the third qualifying round.

Scottish giants Celtic, who were in the section of the draw reserved for domestic champions, must once again beat Astana of Kazakhstan if they are to return to the group phase.

The Glasgow club will host Astana in the first leg before a journey of nearly 4 000 miles for the return leg on August 22 or 23.

Celtic won 3-2 on aggregate when the teams met in the third qualifying round last season.

Draw for the UEFA Champions League playoff round:

Qarabag (AZE) v FC Copenhagen (DEN)
APOEL (CYP) v Slavia Prague (CZE)
Olympiacos (GRE) v Rijeka (CRO)
Celtic (SCO) v Astana (KAZ)
Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Maribor (SLO)
Istanbul Basaksehir (TUR) v Sevilla (ESP)
Young Boys (SUI) v CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Napoli (ITA) v Nice (FRA)
Hoffenheim (GER) v Liverpool (ENG)
Sporting (POR) v FCSB (ROM)

- First legs to be played August 15/16, second legs August 22/23

Read more on:    hoffenheim  |  liverpool  |  champions league  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
Roma v Viktoria Plzen, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
CSKA Moskva v Real Madrid, VEB Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 03 October 2018
PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Schalke 04, RZD Arena 18:55
Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
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