Hoffenheim v Liverpool: LIVE team news and highlights from Champions League play-off | Football | Sport

18:20: You seen this story? I’m sure Jim White will be rolling in his grave…

Premier League clubs are pushing for the transfer window to be shut before the start of the season.

The issue is set to be discussed at a shareholders’ meeting in September with a majority of clubs in favour of shortening the window, which this year closes on August 31.

The move comes amid uncertainty over the future of a number of players, including Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Swansea striker Gylfi Sigurdsson.

That’s the subject of our poll tonight folks. Are you for or against the idea?

Let me know by voting, or alternatively you can comment at the bottom of the page or let me know via Twitter ().

Hoffenheim v Liverpool: Express Sport brings you LIVE coverage of tonight’s Champions League play-off clash from the Rhein-Neckar-Arena

18:15: How much is a tidy sum, Jamie? Allow me to explain.

Liverpool will win £1.8million if they manage to eliminate Hoffenheim, with a further participation bonus of £11.5m for the 32 clubs who reach the Champions League group stage.

It’ll then rise to somewhere in the region of £35m when they start the competition properly.

Should they lose, Jurgen Klopp’s side get £2.7m and are booted straight to the Europa League where the prize money is significantly smaller.

My GCSC maths (grade C) tells me that winning is paramount. Bloody genius me…

18:10: Good evening folks, welcome to our LIVE coverage of Hoffenheim v Liverpool from the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

I really can’t stress just how important tonight’s play-off is.

Win and Liverpool will have one foot in the Champions League group stages and a tidy cash injection.

Lose, and Jurgen Klopp’s side will drop down to the Europa League with Merseyside rivals Everton and Arsenal.

High stakes? You better believe it!

PREVIEW

Liverpool will be without Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge for tonight’s clash.

Coutinho has a back injury, Lallana is out for two months with a thigh problem while Sturridge could return from a similar problem at the weekend.

Right-back Nathaniel Clyne is still absent after hamstring and back injuries.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “This is the strongest qualification round. England play Germany and you can go out against Germany.

“We were both fourth last season, both in strong leagues, but that does not increase the pressure. We want to go to the group stages.

“That was our target for the whole of last season and now we have two steps to go – but they are the most difficult steps. That is how it is.

“If anybody thinks because they don’t know about German football or the quality of Hoffenheim – and a lot of people only know two names – it is clear we have to do the job.

“I am really positive and looking forward to the game, even when I know it is really difficult. That is no problem. That is how it should be in the Champions League, where all the games are difficult.”

Liverpool provisional squad: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Can, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Karius, Gomez, Robertson, Milner, Grujic, Kent, Solanke, Origi.

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