Jurgen Klopp’s men were not off to the greatest start in the league this season as Marco Silva’s Watford managed to steal a point from the season opener on Saturday. But the Reds do not have too long to dwell on the dropped points as they are back in action this Tuesday in their first Champions League game for over three years.
Liverpool were drawn against Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in the qualifier and they travel to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena this mid-week for this crunch tie. They have a few injury issues to worry about but Klopp is expected to play his strongest side and here is the predicted lineup he might field for this tie:
The Reds are still without the services of their play makers Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana, both of whom are suffering from injuries. Nathaniel Clyne is still ruled out of this game while striker Daniel Sturridge might find a place on the bench on the night.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
GK – Simon Mignolet:
The Belgian was solid even as Liverpool shipped three against Watford and deserves to start for Liverpool in the UCL.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold:
The youngster is the only option for Liverpool in the absence of Clyne and he will get his first taste of Champions League in this game.
CB – Joel Matip:
The former Bundesliga defender will have his work cut out against a Hoffenheim side that is known for their ability to score from set-pieces.
CB – Dejan Lovren:
Though not too comfortable at the back against Watford, Lovren is Liverpool’s first choice defender and needs to put in a strong performance in this crunch game for his side.
LB – James Milner:
The experiment with Alberto Moreno was exciting but Liverpool needs some solidity at the back and should bring Milner back at left-back for this all important game.
CDM – Jordan Henderson:
The skipper of the side, Henderson enjoyed a decent game against Watford but will hope to have a more influential time in Germany.
CM – Emre Can:
The German midfielder was superb in the first game for Liverpool and he is expected to put in a similar performance, back in his home country.
CM – Georginio Wijnaldum:
The versatile midfielder from Netherlands, Wijnaldum was lethargic on Saturday and should step up his game to make it easier for Liverpool.
RW – Mohamed Salah:
The newbie for the Reds, Salah opened his scoring in the league already and will hope to have a similar effect on the game on Tuesday.
LW – Sadio Mane:
The Senegalese winger is the most exciting player for the Reds in the absence of Coutinho and will the biggest threat for the German side on the night.
ST – Roberto Firmino:
The Brazil false-9 was at the top of his game when he was subbed off by Klopp against Watford. He will hope to pick up where he left off facing his former club for the first time after moving to Anfield.
Here is how they could line up: