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Champions League Playoff Draw Sets Up Some Interesting Ties

Liverpool must come through a tough two-legged play-off tie against Hoffenheim if they are to return to the group stage of the Champions League after a three-year absence, following Friday’s draw.

Jurgen Klopp will take his Liverpool team back to his native Germany for the first leg on August 15 or 16 with the return at Anfield a week later

Hoffenheim, whose Rhein Neckar Arena is in Sinsheim in south-west Germany, are in the Champions League for the first time in their history after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga last season.

Their coach Julian Nagelsmann, who turned 30 last month, is one of the most highly-rated young trainers in the game.

Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League last season. The five-time European champions were last in the Champions League in 2014-15, when they failed to make it out of their group.

Spanish side Sevilla have been drawn against last season’s Turkish league runners-up Istanbul Basaksehir, who boast the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy in their ranks and eliminated Club Brugge in the third qualifying round.

Napoli, who came third in Serie A last season, were handed a difficult draw against Nice, third in France’s Ligue 1 and victors against Ajax in the third qualifying round.

Scottish giants Celtic, who were in the section of the draw reserved for domestic champions, must once again beat Astana of Kazakhstan if they are to return to the group phase.

The Glasgow club will host Astana in the first leg before a journey of nearly 4,000 miles for the return leg on August 22 or 23. Celtic won 3-2 on aggregate when the teams met in the third qualifying round last season.

First legs to be played August 15/16, second legs August 22/23.

The ten winners earn a place in the draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage on Thursday 24 August, with the defeated teams transferring to the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Who’s already in the group stage?

Pot 1: Real Madrid (ESP, holders), Bayern München (GER), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR), Chelsea (ENG), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Monaco (FRA), Spartak Moskva (RUS)

Other pots: Anderlecht (BEL), Atlético Madrid (ESP), Barcelona (ESP), Basel (SUI), Beşiktaş (TUR), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Feyenoord (NED), RB Leipzig (GER), Manchester City (ENG), Manchester United (ENG), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Porto (POR), Roma (ITA), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

Champions League Playoff First Legs
Quarabag v Copenhagen
Apoel FC v Slavia Prague
Olympiakos v HNK Rijeka
Celtic v Astana
Hapoel v NK Maribor
Istanbul Basaksehir v Sevilla
Young Boys v CSKA Moscow
Napoli v Nice – Buy Champions League Tickets
Hoffenheim v Liverpool – Buy Champions League Tickets
Sporting Lisbon v Steaua Bucherest – Buy Champions League Tickets

Champions League Playoff Second Legs
Copenhagen vc Quarabag
Slavia Prague v Apoel FC
HNK Rijeka v Olympiakos
Astana v Celtic
NK Maribor v Hapoel
Sevilla v Istanbul Basaksehir – Buy Champions League Tickets
CSKA Moscow v Young Boys
Nice v Napoli – Buy Champions League Tickets
Liverpool v Hoffenheim – Buy Champions League Tickets
Steaua Bucherest v Sporting Lisbon

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • dinho April 28, 2010, 5:09 am

    inter milan to win barcelona 😀

  • tareq (kalapur) April 28, 2010, 2:40 am

    i like mesi mesi mesi……………………………………………………this world cup football….2010…….will win ARGENTINA…..

  • Karl April 27, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Messi could be the best at this moment, because there are no real players that he can compete with.
    He should be when the Master (Zinedine Zidan) use to be at the fields, and pretty sure he will stay with his mouth either open of foolness or with his mouth shut because he will not have nothing to show.
    Who is the beter of goalkeeprs of all times, there was no goalkeeper for the Master he had beten all best goalkeepers, has Messi done that, well will see if he is good as much think on the world cup, Which I am pretty sure they will not get to FINALS…..

  • Gabriel Nungolo April 27, 2010, 2:47 pm

    Well it is strong game which myself i call it a final before the final…. But realy can not say who will win because before teams are performing well and with the advantage that Inter has already,,,,, realy is something else but let wait and see the ball will decid…

  • chebsolo April 20, 2010, 1:37 pm

    WINNERS AND WINNERS 4 EVA…. NOTHING WILL EVER STOP BARCELONA…. INTER, I LOVE YOU BUT BARCELONA IS BEST. THE WORLD CAN TESTIFY THAT…..

  • cornelius April 20, 2010, 7:21 am

    i belief to beat inter is to take control of the mid-field and feed the attachers even from the wings to enable my messi do his finishing job perfectly. i see inter as a no threat to us at all, with lionel whom i always reffer to as cornel, victory over vinter is what we will deffinately do. LONG LIVE BARCA.

  • Philip April 20, 2010, 3:48 am

    Barcelona will be lucky if they score tonight. Inter will not only beat them but they will totally outclass them at the San Siro! Forza Inter!!

  • angel of mathematics April 20, 2010, 2:28 am

    Todays match is going to be a disgrace to inter. The fact is barca is full of experience players. Inter fans forget about this season, next season shall be a nice one. Up Barca

  • mesias angala April 19, 2010, 11:26 am

    barcelona for sure…………i strongly recommend the team to over take inter as they are more strong than the opposite team…

  • sagni April 18, 2010, 10:53 am

    barca will win the champion not only win semi final inter. inter is nothing .but, barca for all.

  • cot April 18, 2010, 7:48 am

    inter siap berenkbenk’z barca

  • gtyhyh April 15, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Barcelona have beaten Inter and will again. Barca for champs!!!!!

  • Solari Danny Amamoo April 13, 2010, 9:29 am

    INTER INTERNATIONALE ALL THE WAY AND NO ONE STOP US UNTIL OUR BONES ARE ROTTEN

    • mesias angala April 19, 2010, 11:32 am

      bra……i believe that your thinking is completely wrong….imagine on how will those unskilled defenders tuckle the magision messi

  • Solari April 13, 2010, 9:27 am

    Intermilan all the way and i know we are going to beat Barcelona and also win the champions league this year

    • mesias angala April 19, 2010, 11:36 am

      huuuuh……better think back brother…………………

  • russel April 13, 2010, 5:09 am

    totally agree jack

  • jack April 13, 2010, 5:06 am

    well only to stop barca is not by defensive it just by attacking and push them in defense by that only you can win inter defending 90 minuts to barca is sure that you are loosing this game so just attack them. if u don’t conceed a goal in first half then there is almost a chance to win the game. so best of luck to inter milan.barca its time to good bye for champions league

  • DiRrtyDog April 9, 2010, 1:57 pm

    The Champions League winner, will be either Inter Milan or Barcelona. It is sad that they already meet in the semi-finals, because a final on a neutral ground between those teams would be AMAZING. One of the best defensive teams against maybe the strongest offensive team in Europe, for the time being.

    I don’t think Lyon or Bayern will be capable of winning against either of those teams. The reason why I think they won’t be winning, is simply, that they haven’t been convincing enough.

    Bayern were lucky to beat Fiorentina by an offside goal and advance to the quarterfinals, and even though they impressed me by beating united with 2 amazing comebacks, there were still alot of holes in their defensive line. They wouldn’t stand a chance against Barca’s offensive (Messi, Pedro, Iniesta etc.) with that poor defensive play. And Inter would win 1-0 if they were to meet Bayern in the Finals.

    Lyon is a bit of a joker in my opinion, but I think they need that last bit, to be a threat against Barca or Inter (or even Bayern for that matter) I saw the second leg against Bordeaux, and they were seriously outplayed by them, and the only reason why they did advance, was because of outstanding goalkeeping. And I don’t think the goalkeeper will save them against barca, but against Inter, well maybe they’ll have a small chance (but really I don’t think that as a possibilty)

    Well that’s just my bet on the Chl Winners 2010 🙂 And I will eat all of those words again if I’m wrong. (and sorry for spelling or grammar problems, I’m not English)

    Have a nice Weekend

    • David Wilson April 9, 2010, 5:22 pm

      Totally agree with your comments. Bayern might be the weakest team to reach the CL semi-finals in years.

      As for Inter v Barca it promises to be a great series. Arsenal showed that you cannot give Barca time and space to make all their little passes. You have to be stronger and physical as Chelsea were last season, and that describes Inter.

  • micheal April 7, 2010, 11:00 am

    it seems every body want to get to the top of this game but i tell u the only term dat has make it to d final is barca.

  • Red Devils April 7, 2010, 3:59 am

    Man United can win tonight match.. i know they can. GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!! miracles could happen

  • Philip April 7, 2010, 2:40 am

    Messi is no doubt the best player in the world at the moment . Last night’s 4-1 win over Arsenal confirmed what we already knew. This time however, against Inter they stand no chance. Inter will reach the final!!

  • Abdulah March 25, 2010, 5:55 pm

    Arsenal will have a tuff game against barcelona i know that we are going to win home but away will be really tuff but we will se what happens (inshallah)

  • gunners March 25, 2010, 11:26 am

    arsenal will upset barca and prove all of you wrong…just wait and see

    • Alen April 20, 2010, 7:12 am

      spoke to soon there…

    • Rooney10_PAKI April 23, 2010, 1:14 pm

      u can’t beat man utd,how will u beat barca

  • leonar March 24, 2010, 12:20 pm

    The is no other team that will stop barca from winning champions league

  • leonar March 24, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Barc has been and I will be best team for the next decade!

  • zakari harouna barmou March 22, 2010, 8:16 pm

    barcelona is the king of football.

    • leonar March 24, 2010, 12:16 pm

      They have the talent in world of footbal to beat arsenal, most importantly I would them go all the way to the final and thrash man united. I want Barca to prove the world that they are the best team in the world and to man united.

  • nebeolisa March 22, 2010, 4:06 am

    wenger barca has all it takes to win the match,but if arsenal struggles hard they can make it.

  • Fernando August 19, 2009, 11:07 am

    There can be no cheating in Champions league. There must be
    transparency. Starting with the referees. Unspeakable
    was the performance of the Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai in Lisbon
    18Aug2009 giving the same disciplinary value to a aggression (yellow card), 2 fouls with a view to preventing gaming and goal (without punishment), and take the shirt off to celebrate a goal ( second yellow card). Unbelievable.
    Impaired? Sporting Club de Portugal.

  • rooney August 8, 2009, 7:02 am

    man u champions again,you wait maha,see the youth and our striking force go mad.man u v barca final…arsenal dont have a final in them unless its there youth in carling cup in there lucky.rooney player of the year/world

    • leonard March 24, 2010, 12:26 pm

      Rooynen, is the best strike in barclays…wait to see the best strikes when they meet best team in the world

  • BAYONLE April 9, 2009, 5:56 am

    I DONT THINK MAN U CAN STILL QUALIFY BUT LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

  • BAYONLE April 9, 2009, 5:53 am

    BARCELONA VS ARSENAL FOR FINAL.

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