Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann hopes to pull off shock against Liverpool



Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by PA

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann insists his side can shock Liverpool in their Champions League play-off first leg but will need a top performance to achieve it.

The 30-year-old has been something of a revelation in Germany, guiding the club to the brink of their first appearance in the Champions League after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga.

Liverpool start as favourites in Germany but Nagelsmann has warned his side should not be taken lightly.

Asked if they could cause an upset he said: "Absolutely. I am aware of that.

"Of course we know Liverpool is the favourite in this encounter and we know we can, with a good match, shock our opponent.

"I don't know if we need to shock them or the English public but I can also say we need an absolutely top performance tomorrow in order to do that."

Despite his confidence and the general feeling surrounding the club's first foray among Europe's elite Nagelsmann offered a word of caution.

"Everyone is really excited," he said. "But to talk about a dream....a dream can quickly become a nightmare and that depends on the result."

Nagelsmann and Jurgen Klopp share the same agent and the pair spoke about this tie when the draw was made.

"We talked shortly, exchanged a few texts and both mentioned it is Murphy's Law we are meeting in this match," he said.

"For our advisor it is a good thing to work for both of us."

The Hoffenheim coach insists he takes no pleasure from the news Liverpool's key trio Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge will be absent with injury.

"I never wish anything bad to any opponent so I never sit in front of my TV celebrating when an opponent gets injured," he added.

"If Coutinho and Lallana are in the team it doesn't get easier for us but I don't wish injuries on anyone."

Liverpool manager Klopp has put thoughts of wantaway Coutinho out of his mind as he concentrates on the Hoffenheim game.

The Brazil international submitted a transfer request on Friday just a couple of hours after club owners Fenway Sports Group issued a statement insisting he would not be sold after two unsuccessful bids from Barcelona.

Coutinho is currently sidelined with a back injury which has delayed his start to the new season and Klopp insists until the 25-year-old is fit again he cannot waste time thinking about him and his position.

"There's nothing to say about it. I really understand everybody is interested in it, but at this moment I'm not thinking about it," he said.

"I will answer questions but I'm not in the car, on the way to this press conference, thinking 'If they ask this question, what can I say?' because I have to think about the (training) session in a few minutes.

"It was always like this. I work with the players I have, I don't think about the players I don't have at the moment.

"If they're injured, whatever, you cannot change, it's the same situation for me.

"I think I've said everything you can say about it, if you want to ask do, but I have no more answers.

"Nothing has changed over the last few days. Not on one side, not on the other side.

"I'm not sure what you're asking for as he's not available for us at this moment, that's the main issue.

"He cannot play for Liverpool in this moment and how everybody can imagine, that's quite a blow for us.

"We know a few days about it, so we have been able to prepare for this game without him, like we have been able to prepare without Adam Lallana, without Daniel Sturridge."

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