Jürgen Klopp confident Liverpool prepared for "the difficulty" of Hoffenheim challenge

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is aware of the dangers Hoffenheim will pose to his side as they go head-to-head in a Champions League play-off round qualifier first-leg in Germany on Tuesday night.

Jürgen Klopp confident Liverpool prepared for "the difficulty" of Hoffenheim challenge
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says his team are completely aware of the threat that Hoffenheim will pose ahead of their Champions League qualifying first-leg on Tuesday.

The Reds face their German opposition in the first of two legs in the final round of qualifying for the competition's group stages, having been paired with the thrilling Bundesliga outfit.

Hoffenheim finished fourth last season, like Liverpool, having nearly been relegated the previous year - and Klopp believes they will prove a formidable opponent as both teams look to reach the tournament proper. 

Embed from Getty Images

Klopp relishing "really exciting" tie

The manager said that his Liverpool team "fought really hard for this opportunity" last season as he explained he is "not sure" that he sees the game as a chance for him to take the club into the group stages. 

Klopp revealed: "After the game, we knew we were fourth but we had no idea if we were seeded or not. Then at night, when we celebrated the fourth place, somebody came in and said we were seeded. We were really happy about this and then we saw who we could still get, and we thought 'Oh! That’s the job to do'."

He insisted that Liverpool have been "really looking forward to this game" for the three months since the end of last season, insisting they arrive into the clash "in a good mood."

Klopp said that his side come into the game "knowing about the quality of the opponent" and labelling "the difficulty" of the challenge "all clear."

Regardless, the German feels it is "just good to be here after a long time" and "good to have the chance to do it" even though they know the two games will be "really hard."

He added that Liverpool "know much more about Hoffenheim than you can know" and "know everything", insisting they must not make the Bundesliga side "too strong." 

Klopp revealed that the coaching staff will remind their players "who we will face and the quality we will face" because "in football there are also weaknesses."

"They are strong, we are strong – that's how it should be," he continued. "And both have the big aim to go into the group stage, and that makes it really exciting."

Embed from Getty Images

Klopp hints that Hoffenheim's lack of continental experience won't matter

This will be Hoffenheim's first ever European game but Klopp dismissed the idea that their lack of experience will be any kind of decisive factor.

He declared himself "not really interested" in the experience of their opponents because "you have to learn those things, you have to do things and get your own experience."

Klopp said that he and his staff have been at Liverpool "for 20 months" and "always try to give good analysis to our players so they take that analysis as the truth know what is happening with the opponent."

He told reporters that they show the Liverpool squad "images of the opponent" which are "quite clear and speak for themselves", insisting that in Hoffenheim they have "an opponent who is very self-confident and aggressive."

The Reds boss reiterated: "We know everything and we know about their quality, what they do on the pitch. A name or experience is really not my interest. But we know it will be difficult, like it always is in the Champions League."

Embed from Getty Images

Reds up against "big, big, big" managerial talent Nagelsmann

Having gone head-to-head with Hoffenheim 16 times as Mainz and Borussia Dortmund boss, Klopp will meet compatriot Julian Nagelsmann in the dug-out for the first time.

The 30-year-old guided Hoffenheim to a remarkable fourth-placed finish last term having come in half-way through the previous campaign to steer them to safety, avoiding relegation by a single point.

Klopp hailed Nagelsmann as "a big, big, big coaching talent" and noted that he was "still under-19s coach or something like this" when he left Dortmund in May 2015. 

The Liverpool manager said he has "really followed his [Nagelsmann's] way" since he was made Hoffenheim's first-team coach, because he likes "good football" and he feels his countryman's team play "interesting and good football."

Klopp said that Nagelsmann is not "the only one" in regards to Germany's young talented managers, insisting there are "a lot of really good" coaches which will make for "an interesting time on the manager market" in the country.