Bayer Leverkusen vs Barcelona preview

December 8, 2015
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico MadridFollowing the 1-1 draw in Belarus, Bayer Leverkusen need to beat mighty Barcelona and hope that AS Roma will not beat BATE Borisov in order to qualify for the next stage.

Meanwhile, the Catalans have long ago secured the first position in the group and it remains to be seen how they will approach the game.

It will take quite an effort from Bayer Leverkusen players to turn this season into a success taking into account the slow start to the season.

Die Werkself have struggled in Bundesliga so far, losing 6 of first 15 league fixtures, and they currently sit five points behind top 4 positions.

Bayer Leverkusen did not impress in Europe either, taking five points from as many group games, and they now face an uphill task of trying to secure progress into the next stage.

It was the 1-1 draw with BATE Borisov that seriously damaged their qualifying hopes, meaning that even a win against Barcelona may not prove enough.

Die Werkself are winless in last three matches and head into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Hertha, so they don’t really have much to hope for.

The good news is that Kyriakos Papadopoulos is fit to return, but Lars Bender remains doubtful and Tin Jedvaj is definitely out.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-2-2): Leno – Hilbert, Toprak, Tah, Wendell – Kampl, Kramer – Bellarabi, Mehmedi – Kiessling, Hernandez.

At the moment, Barcelona are enjoying a perfect season as they are two points clear at the La Liga summit, while also performing really well in Europe.

The Catalans did fail to beat Valencia at the weekend as Gary Neville’s side scored a late goal to make it all squared, but that is unlikely to have any effect on the great dressing room atmosphere.

With their seven-match winning run having just ended, Barcelona will be looking to start a new one at Bay Arena, although odds of 2.00 (1/1) offered on away win are not too appealing given the circumstances.

Namely, with his side already eight points clear at the top of the group, Luis Enrique is almost certain to ring wholesale changes to the side.

The suspended Dani Alves as well as Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique have remained in Spain, while other key men will be rested as well.

Talented youngsters Sergi Samper, Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez are all expected to play a part at Bay Arena on Wednesday evening.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): ter Stegen – Adriano, Bartra, Mascherano, Vermaelen – Rakitic, Busquets, Samper – Munir, Neymar, Sandro Ramirez.

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