Liverpool, Celtic Learn Champions League Opponents
Liverpool will face Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the play-off round of the Champions League.
The Reds face Roberto Firmino’s old team who finished in fourth place in the German league last season.
Hoffenheim are coached by Julian Nagelsmann who only turned 30 last month. Nagelsmann was appointed Hoffenheim coach in February 2016 after spells as assistant manager and as coach of the club’s under-19 side. He guided the side to safety from relegation in the 2015-16 season and followed that up with a top-four finish last season – the highest position in the club’s history.
This is their debut season in the Champions League.
The first leg will be played in Germany on 15-16 August 2017 with the second leg at Anfield a week later.
Scottish champions Celtic face Astana of Kazakhstan. The Hoops played the same club in the third qualifying round of last season’s competition drawing 1-1 in the away leg before triumphing 2-1 at home.
Celtic defeated Norwegian champions Rosenborg on Wednesday to seal their place in the play-off round. Astana slipped through against Polish champions Legia Warsaw. They won the first leg 3-1 at home and lost 1-0 in Warsaw to progress 3-2 on aggregate.
Astana got through to the group stages in 2015-16 where they drew four of their six games in a pool that also contained Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Galatasaray. They finished in fourth place on just 4 points.
The full draw is as follows:
Qarabag v FC Copenhagen
Apoel v Slavia Prague
Olympiacos v Rijeka
Celtic v Astana
Hapoel Beer-Sheva v Maribor
Istanbul Basaksehir v Sevilla
Young Boys v CSKA Moscow
Napoli v Nice
Hoffenheim v Liverpool
Sporting Lisbon v FCSB Steaua Bucharest.
The first legs will be played on either the 15th or 16th August 2017. The second legs will be on 22nd or 23rd August 2017.