Liverpool v Hoffenheim: play-off facts and stats

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.

Previous meetings
• 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.

See Alexander-Arnold free-kick in Liverpool win

See Alexander-Arnold free-kick in Liverpool win

Match background
• 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.

Former Hoffenheim player Roberto Firmino

Former Hoffenheim player Roberto Firmino©AFP/Getty Images

• 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.

Coach profiles
• 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.

Penalty shoot-outs
• 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.

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