Lallana injury a blow for Liverpool backers

LIVERPOOL will have had better days.

The Merseysiders were handed a difficult Champions League playoff draw against Hoffenheim and then revealed Adam Lallana would be out injured for a “significant period.”

Lallana suffered a thigh injury in a pre-season clash with Atletico Madrid and Jurgen Klopp told the club’s official website: “This is certainly not news we would have wanted.

“Unfortunately, the damage is such that it will likely mean Adam is out for a couple of months not weeks, so I think we can pretty much rule him out of August and September.

“Beyond that we will monitor and wait and see. He is a boy with a world-class attitude to everything professionally and he has always come back in good time from injury setbacks since I have been here, so we will see.”

Lallana will therefore miss a chunk of Champions League action should Liverpool progress to the group stage.

It’s a tricky trip to Germany but bet365 rate Liverpool 2-5 favourites to progress with Hoffenheim at 5-2 with Hills.

Hoffenheim finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season and are managed by impressive 30-year-old Julian Nagelsmann.

They have signed Serge Gnabry on loan from Bayern Munich this summer but centre-back Niklas Sule and midfielder Sebastian Rudy headed in the opposite direction.

Liverpool are at Anfield in the second leg but Celtic will head to Kazakhstan for their decisive contest after being drawn to play Astana.

Celtic can be backed at 2-5 with bet365 to make it through with Astana 12-5 with Coral.

Hills are offering 1-10 that Everton reach the Europa League group stage following their draw against Hajduk Split. The Croatians, who have an illustrious history but are short on quality these days, are 11-2 to stun the Toffees over two legs.

Match in Focus

20:00 Mo 18Dec SKY

Malaga v Real Betis

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Betis have not won any of their last seven games.
Expert verdict
Malaga have been much more competitive in recent weeks and can pick up their fourth league win of the season by beating fellow strugglers Real Betis at La Rosaleda. Michel's outfit climbed off the basement with a 2-0 triumph at Sociedad last Sunday and can follow up with a victory over Betis, who haven't won since October.

 

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