Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann: 'Liverpool draw is special'

Jurgen Klopp

As a consolation, the sides that fail to progress will instead enter the Europa League, with that draw held on Friday 25 August.

The first legs will be played on Aug 15 and 16, with the return fixtures on Aug 22 and 23.

Napoli qualified for the preliminary round after finishing third in the Serie A last season.

Liverpool have been drawn to face Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-off round and it's a tie that Reds fans should treat with caution.

Klopp will know all about the Reds' opponents Hoffenheim, who secured their spot in the Champions League playoff round by virtue of a fourth place finish in the Bundesliga.

And with just four defeats all season, Liverpool could find them a particularly tough nut to crack.

Should Liverpool go through, it is thought that they would be seeded in pot three for the group stage draw. "First we'll play Watford but at the same time we'll start preparing for Hoffenheim and it's really exciting".

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Towering centre back Niklas Sule and midfield playmaker Sebastian Rudy both agreed to join Bayern midway through last season and they will both be extremely hard to replace.

"We write messages to each other from time to time", said Nagelsmann.

J├╝rgen Klopp returns back to Germany. The ex-Roma man has impressed this preseason, so much that star winger Sadio Mane has said he's willing to switch positions to accommodate the Egypt global.

However, that only came through a late victor from Moussa Dembele in a nervy 3-2 aggregate win.

Balotelli said Klopp spoke to him just once since the German arrived at Anfield in 2015 and that joining Liverpool was the "worst mistake of his life".

They could face French outfit Nice, German side Hoffenheim, Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir, Young Boys from Switzerland or Romania's Steaua Bucharest.

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