By Harvey Byrne
Former striker Michael Owen has predicted a comfortable win for Liverpool in their Wednesday evening Champions League qualifying match against Hoffenheim.
The Merseyside giants are currently preparing to face the Bundesliga outfit at Anfield ahead of the second-leg of the play-off round of the Champions League qualifying stages.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are heading into the match with a slender 2-1 lead on aggregate after goals from youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold and an own goal from Havard Nordtveit cancelling out a solo Mark Uth strike.
But, Owen believes Liverpool will have a more comfortable occasion on Wednesday evening and has predicted the Reds to win to nil.
“Two away goals mean Liverpool are in a commanding position entering the second leg at Anfield, and it would be a massive surprise to see Hoffenheim advance to the group stages,” told Owen, as quoted by Bet Victor.
“Clubs are often left in limbo when entering the second leg with a lead, trying to decide whether they should sit back and be patient or go all-out attack and try to get the game finished early.
“The best example of this is probably England’s 1-0 defeat to Scotland at Wembley. We won the first leg 2-0 at Hampden and then didn’t know what to do in the return leg, with half of the side happy to sit back and defend, whilst the others preferred to start all guns blazing.
It will be fascinating how the Reds set-up for the game but I expect Jurgen Klopp to get the tactics spot on, and it should prove a brilliant 90 minutes of football at Anfield. With two away goals Liverpool are only going to lose the tie if they conceded a hatful and I just can’t see it happening.”
A win for Liverpool on Wednesday will see them reach the Champions League for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, where they were then defeated in the group stage after being drawn against Real Madrid, Basel and Ludogorets.
The Reds will be hoping for better this campaign and they are going into the match against Hoffenheim confident after achieving a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Hoffenheim, meanwhile are also going into by the Anfield match after a victory with a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen in their opening league game.
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