Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool face a tough task ahead of them after learning who the Reds will face in their upcoming Champions League playoff clash.
The German’s side were drawn against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, who they will compete with across two legs for a place in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.
Liverpool will travel to Germany for the first meeting on Tuesday August 15 before hosting Roberto Firmino’s former employers on August 23.
Klopp is expecting a difficult game against a young and dangerous Hoffenheim team that finished fourth in Germany’s top flight last season and just two points behind Borussia Dortmund.
“But we should always not forget what they thought in the moment they saw the draw – it’s not the best thing they could get,” the Reds boss told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I’m completely fine with it, happy to know and now we can start preparing. [They are a] strong side, how everybody can imagine. When you are fourth in Germany you are a strong side.”
“It’s a very interesting club. They have a lot of really good young players. They lost two of them – [Sebastian] Rudy and [Niklas] Sule to Bayern – and had a little change. [They have] a very young manager, just 30 years old, a very talented man.”
“That’s a real challenge but I’m looking forward to it. First we’ll play Watford but at the same time we’ll start preparing for Hoffenheim and it’s really exciting.”
What makes Hoffenheim a particularly interesting opponent is 30-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann, who has been responsible for implementing an exciting and highly-praised attacking approach.
It marks perhaps the trickiest tie Liverpool could have been given, although it is the German side’s attacking ambition that could prove useful in opening the game up for Klopp’s men.
Ultimately, it is a game the Reds must win and one they are more than equipped to come through.