Three players to look out for in the Champions League play-off round

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With the domestic football season now fully underway, it’s time to turn our attention to European competition.

The Champions League returns this week with 20 teams set to battle it out in the play-off round for a chance to compete in the group stages.

Here, we take you through three players to look out for in the coming days…

Andrej Kramaric

A name familiar to English football fans following a spell with Leicester City during the 2015-16 season.

The forward played 20 games for the Foxes but never really got a fair crack of the whip.

At Hoffenheim however, the Croatian striker has hit the ground running.

He finished last season as the club’s top scorer with 15 goals as Die Kraichgauer qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Standing at 6ft 2in in stature, Kramaric also provides an excellent foil for link-up play, a fact demonstrated by his eight assists in the Bundesliga last season.

Edin Visca

Unless you’re a supporter of Istanbul Basaksehir, the Bosnia & Herzegovina national team or obscure wingers born in the former Yugoslavia, you’re unlikely to know this man’s name.

If you do fall into one of those categories however, you’ll likely know that Edin Visca is a very tricky customer indeed.

The diminutive 5ft 7in wideman hit eight goals and provided seven assists as Basaksehir recorded a best ever league finish of second in the Turkish Super Liga.

A combination of neat footwork and an eye for goal makes him a player to be feared by opponents.

Just ask Club Brugge.

In the Champions League for the first time this season, we expect Visca to translate his domestic form onto the European stage.

Guillaume Hoarau

He may be 33-years-old, but Guillaime Hoarau of BSC Young Boys may well be one of European football’s greatest secrets.

Put simply, the Frenchman has a quite superb record in European competition.

Last season he scored five goals in four games in the Europa League, while two seasons prior he hit six in eight games for the Swiss side.

The man scores goals for fun and, in a dangerous Young Boys side, may fancy his chances of adding to an already impressive European tally.

If 54 goals in 74 Swiss Super League games is anything to go by, we think CSKA Moscow have every right to be worried on Tuesday night.

Click here for all the latest Champions League odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.