Liverpool to face Hoffenheim in Champions League play-off, Celtic draw Astana again

Meanwhile, the Europa League play-off draw was also made this afternoon.

Anfield: Liverpool will host Hoffenheim in the second leg later this month.
Anfield: Liverpool will host Hoffenheim in the second leg later this month.
Image: Paul Currie

LIVERPOOL WILL PLAY German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the play-off round for a place in the Champions League group stages.

The Reds, five-time winners of European football’s premier club competition, are bidding to qualify for the group stages for only the second time in eight seasons.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will travel to Hoffenheim for the first leg on 15/16 August before hosting the side which finished fourth in the Bundesliga in Anfield a week later.

Celtic have once again been pitted against Astana, with memories of their dramatic stoppage-time win against the Kazakh side in last year’s third qualifying round still fresh.

The first leg takes place at Parkhead.

Champions League play-off Round

  • Qarabag (AZE) v Kobenhavn (DEN)
  • APOEL (CYP) v Slavia Praha (CZE)
  • Olympiacos (GRE) v Rijeka (CRO)
  • Celtic (SCO) v Astana (KAZ)
  • Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Maribor (SVN)
  • Istanbul Basaksehir (TUR) v Sevilla (ESP)
  • Young Boys (SUI) v CSKA Moskva (RUS)
  • Napoli (ITA) v Nice (FRA)
  • Hoffenheim (GER) v Liverpool (ENG)
  • Sporting CP (POR) v FCSB (ROU)

Meanwhile, the Europa League play-off draw was also made, with AC Milan, Everton and Marseille learning their opponents. A total of 22 ties were drawn, with the first legs played on 17 August, and the second legs on 24 August. Rosenborg, who knocked Dundalk out of the Champions League qualifiers, will face Dutch outfit Ajax.

Europa League play-off round

  • Shkëndija (MKD) v Milan (ITA)
  • Vardar (MKD) v Fenerbahçe (TUR)
  • Ajax (NED) v Rosenborg (NOR)
  • Osijek (CRO) v Austria Wien (AUT)
  • Crvena zvezda (SRB) v Krasnodar (RUS)
  • Altach (AUT) v M. Tel-Aviv (ISR)
  • BATE (BLR) v Olexandriya (UKR)
  • Club Brugge (BEL) v AEK (GRE)
  • Marítimo (POR) v Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
  • Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v Skënderbeu (ALB)
  • Ludogorets (BUL) v Sūduva (LTU)
  • Panathinaikos (GRE) v Athletic (ESP)
  • Apollon (CYP) v Midtjylland (DEN)
  • Domžale (SVN) v Marseille (FRA)
  • Partizan (SRB) v Videoton (HUN)
  • FH (ISL) v Braga (POR)
  • Everton (ENG) v Hajduk Split (CRO)
  • Utrecht (NED) v Zenit (RUS)
  • Legia (POL) v Sheriff (MDA)
  • Viitorul (ROU) v Salzburg (AUT)
  • Plzeň (CZE) v AEK Larnaca (CYP)
  • PAOK (GRE) v Östersund (SWE)

Gavin Cooney
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