It’s so close we can almost taste it. The Champions League. The land of Milk and Honey. Europe’s premier competition: where Liverpool distinguished themselves above all other English clubs in the Glory Days, and where they’d desperately like to distinguish themselves yet again.
Despite the last-day-of-the-season dramatics, there is one more test before Liverpool can enter the Champions League proper—a two-legged, home-and-away match-up against German side Hoffenheim. The first match will be played away, with the second and decisive one coming in front of the Anfield faithful. Hopefully we won’t need it to be one of those magical Anfield European Nights™.
Although it might have been preferable to not have drawn against a side from one of the major leagues, Liverpool will still be considered a favorite in the tie. Also, Jürgen Klopp’s knowledge of the Bundesliga can only be an advantage.
At least we won’t have to play on a plastic pitch in Switzerland. And we won’t have to face off against a justifiably motivated Mario Balotelli. So that’s something.
The first leg will occur either on August 15th or 16th, with the return on either the 22nd or 23rd.
The other play-off ties are as follows (first team listed playing home in the first leg):
- Qarabag FC vs. FC Copenhagen
- APOEL FC vs. SK Slavia Prague
- Olympiacos FC vs. HNK Rijenka
- Celtic FC vs. FC Astana
- Hapoel Be’er-Sheva FC vs. NK Maribor
- Istanbul BB vs. Sevilla FC
- BSC Young Boys vs. CSKA Moscow
- SSC Napoli vs. OGC Nice
- Sporting CP vs. FCSB