Liverpool don’t have to go for goals tonight at Anfield to qualify for the Group stages of the Champions League. They were somewhat fortunate to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 in the first leg away from home but a goalless draw will suffice.
No doubt Jurgen Klopp will say his team will go for the win but subconsciously the safety valve of not needing a victory will kick in and the draw is the most likely outcome of the second match in the tie.
It’s unthinkable for the Liverpool hierarchy for the club not to progress tonight and that scrutiny could create some tension. An early goal for Hoffenheim adds to that pressure and Liverpool have problems at the back.
They conceded three goals in their first league match away from home against Watford as old failings from last season cost them dear. Hoffenheim are a lively outfit who could take advantage of any failings at the back but Liverpool should score.
Protecting their position more than putting the tie to bed is Liverpool’s priority tonight and that can create its own issues. Ninety minutes against a decent German outfit is a long time to defend but Liverpool caused Hoffenheim problems in the first leg. The game has goals written all over it and both teams can score.
It’s a balance between being cautious and not falling into a defensive shell and the latter could prevail. Liverpool are better going forward than defending a lead. The compromise situation can lead to a scoring draw and job done.
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