Draw with both teams to score – 16/5
We all remember our first time, the nerves, the excitement and the anticipation. Well that’s exactly how fans of Hoffenheim are feeling this week as the German outfit make their first foray into the Champions League.
A weight of history stands in their way, with five-time winners Liverpool waiting for them to battle it out for one of the coveted spots in the competition. Given his time at Borussia Dortmund, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be very wary of the Bundesliga side ahead of Tuesday’s first leg.
That’s because, despite their virginity at Europe’s top table, Hoffenheim went through the whole of last season unbeaten at home and only Bayern Munich lost less games than them in the league. Meanwhile, Klopp’s Liverpool got off to a shaky start to their Premier League adventure conceding in the final moments away to Watford to draw 3-3.
The Germans, like their English visitors, also seem fond of a score-fest after being on the right end of two 5-3 ding-dongs in the space of a month towards the end of last season. This leads us to believe the net is guaranteed to be rattled, so the draw with both teams to score at 16/5 looks a tidy value play.
Sadio Mané to net first – 6/1
For punters and Liverpool fans alike, Sadio Mané has been the gift that keeps on giving and he’s been as consistent as an outlandish Donald Trump tweet when it comes to landing a first goal scorer bet.
We locked our number crunching geeks in their stats room over the weekend and it turns out that the Senegalese flyer nets first every 4.5 games in the Premier League. So hopefully, he transfers that form to tonight’s action.
To be fair, in today’s wacky market the reported £34m fee Liverpool paid to Southampton for Mané seems a right bargain and Hoffenheim will need to keep a close eye on him come Tuesday.
Andrej Kramarić to score anytime – 2/1
Andrej Kramarić may be a name only the s-wankiest of football hipsters will be familiar with, but the Croat was instrumental in the German’s run to the top four last season.
Kramarić fired 15 goals in Hoffenheim’s memorable campaign and was the club’s top marksman in the Bundesliga. He’s recovered from a pre-season foot injury and should be eyeing up the whites of Simon Mignolet’s posts on Tuesday night.
He comes in as a 2/1 gamble for an anytime goal against Liverpool, but has the added advantage of being the designated spot kick taker so don’t forgot our Croatian call-out before you punt.
* All the odds correct at time of posting.