Liverpool FC will look to bring TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s maiden UEFA Champions League campaign to an early conclusion as they defend a 2-1 lead in their UEFA Champions League play-off decider.
• Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last seven encounters with German opposition; their overall record reads P37 W18 D13 L6 F60 A32. They have yet to lose in 14 home meetings with German opponents: W11 D3 L0.
• This is Hoffenheim’s first European tie, with the play-off first leg at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim marking the start of their maiden continental campaign.
• Fourth place in the 2016/17 Bundesliga was the south-west German club’s best-ever league finish.
• After a year’s absence from European competition, Liverpool qualified for the play-offs by coming fourth in last season’s Premier League.
• Since 2009/10, when the Reds failed to get out of their UEFA Champions League group, this is their second appearance in the competition following another group-stage participation in 2014/15.
• The aim for Liverpool, five-time European champions, is a tenth tilt at the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Their last European campaign, 2015/16, ended in a UEFA Europa League final defeat by Sevilla FC in Basel.
• Their last five European games at Anfield have produced a home victory; in fact, Liverpool are unbeaten in nine home matches in Europe, since a 3-0 reverse to Real Madrid CF on 22 October 2014.
Team and coach links
• Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp faced Hoffenheim 16 times as a manager during his career in Germany. His record was D1 L1 with 1. FSV Mainz 05, and W5 D5 L4 with Borussia Dortmund.
• Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino was at Hoffenheim between 2011 and 2015, scoring 38 goals in 140 league games.
• TSG’s Nadiem Amiri, Sandro Wagner and Kerem Demirbay, together with Emre Can of Liverpool, helped Germany win the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia in July.
• A UEFA Champions League runner-up as Dortmund coach in 2013, Klopp steered Liverpool into this month’s play-offs at the conclusion to his first full season in English football. The league title and cup success that the charismatic 50-year-old enjoyed with BVB has so far eluded him, though he did lead the Merseysiders to the UEFA Europa League and English League Cup finals of 2016.
• The Bundesliga’s youngest-ever head coach when appointed Hoffenheim boss in February 2016, at the age of 28, Julian Nagelsmann initially helped stave off the threat of relegation with a combination of tactical know-how and excellent man-management. That same recipe, developed during a long coaching apprenticeship with FC Augsburg, TSV 1860 München and TSG, then fuelled their march to fourth place last term.
• Liverpool’s record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:
4-2 v AS Roma, 1983/84 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
3-2 v AC Milan, 2004/05 UEFA Champions League final
4-1 v Chelsea FC, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-finals
4-5 v Beşiktaş JK, 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32
• Hoffenheim have yet to experience a shoot-out in Europe.