No German team has ever beaten Liverpool at Anfield. However, that is precisely what Hoffenheim will have to do if they are to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.
Liverpool came away from the first leg in Sinsheim last Tuesday with a 2-1 win thanks to a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick and a Havard Nordtveit own-goal.
Mark Uth’s late strike gave Hoffenheim hope going into the second leg, but the German side will still have to score at least twice on Merseyside if they are to advance to the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in their short history.
“We’ll certainly put on a good show – I can promise you that,” coach Julian Nagelsmann said. “The plan is to win 2-0. But we’d take a 3-0 win as well.”
Jürgen Klopp’s side are known for their aggressive pressing and attacking potency but the Reds’ defense has been leaky of late, particularly from set pieces – a weakness Hoffenheim will be looking to exploit.
“We’re definitely capable of scoring two goals, that goes without question,” defender Kevin Vogt told Germany’s mass-circulation newspaper “Bild.” “We’re going to throw everything at them. We know we can do it.”
Nagelsmann’s team certainly had their chances in the first leg. Andre Kramaric missed from the penalty spot, Sandro Wagner struck the outside of the post and Benjamin Hübner headed over the bar unmarked, but midfielder Kerem Demirbay looked at the positives.
“We clearly play the better football,” he said. “Whether that’s enough to see us through in the end, we will see. We know we’re not Liverpool but we can travel there with confidence.”
Anfield – not a happy hunting ground for German teams
More illustrious names than Hoffenheim have come undone in Liverpool over the years, with the Reds having won 14 of 17 matches against German opposition at Anfield.
1860 Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dynamo Dresden and Borussia Mönchengladbach have all suffered heavy defeats in England’s northwest. Two years ago, Borussia Dortmund squandered a 4-2 aggregate lead in the final 30 minutes as Liverpool produced a stunning comeback to progress to the Europa League semifinal.
So it would be a historic night if Hoffenheim were to reverse that trend and secure a money-spinning place in Europe’s premier club competition. The financial difference between participation in the Champions League group stage and the Europa League is approximately 15 million euros ($17.6 million).
“It’s a perfect time to write history,” Demirbay said.