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UEFA Champions League

  • February 14, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • BayArena, Leverkusen
  • Referee: C. Thomson
  • • Attendance: 29400
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Champions League Preview: Bayer Leverkusen - Barcelona

Champions League Preview: Bayer Leverkusen - Barcelona

Bongarts

The Catalan giants will be hoping to extend their dominance over German opposition in recent seasons as they prepare to face Robin Dutt's side in the round of 16


PROBABLE LINEUPS

BAYER LEVERKUSEN


Leno
Corluka, Schwaab, Friedrich, Kadlec
Castro, Reinartz, Rolfes
Bender
Kiessling, Schurrle
BARCELONA


Valdes
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Mascherano, Iniesta
Fabregas, Messi, Sanchez


Michael Ballack suffered a calf injury during training on Sunday and will miss Bayer Leverkusen's round of 16 first leg clash with Barcelona on Tuesday. The news comes as a blow to Bayer coach Robin Dutt, who is already without his two top scorers, Eren Derdiyok (foot) and Sidney Sam (thigh).

Defender Danny da Costa should be fit after suffering a knock to his shin during training.

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, who has been missing from action with a bruised knee since 4 February, is included in the squad travelling to Germany, and may feature at the BayArena.

Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Cesc Fabregas could all start for the Catalan outfit after the trio were left on the bench for Saturday's defeat at Osasuna.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Bayer Leverkusen and Barcelona have met each other six times in European competition, with the Catalan club notching three wins to Bayer's two.
  • Leverkusen, who are sixth in the Bundesliga table, are bidding to reach the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2002, when they went on to lose to Real Madrid in the final.
  • The German club's overall home record against Spanish opposition is W5 D3 L4.
  • Barcelona have avoided defeat in their last seven trips to Germany (W4 D3).
  • However, Leverkusen were the last German side to beat the reigning European champions on German soil - a 2-1 win in the 2001-02 Champions League first group stage.
  • With six goals to his name, Lionel Messi (pictured) was joint-top scorer of the Champions League group stages along with Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez.

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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Feb 14, 2012 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 - FC Barcelona 3
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Bernd LenoGoalkeeper
3Daniel SchwaabDefender
5Manuel FriedrichDefender
-Michal KadlecDefender
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
3Stefan ReinartzMidfielder
6Simon RolfesMidfielder
8Lars BenderMidfielder
25Renato AugustoMidfielder
27Gonzalo CastroDefender
14Andre SchürrleStriker
22David YelldellGoalkeeper
6Bastian OczipkaDefender
20D. da CostaDefender
21Ömer ToprakDefender
-M. OrtegaMidfielder
38Karim BellarabiMidfielder
11Stefan KießlingStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
21AdrianoDefender
22Éric AbidalDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
5BusquetsMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10MessiStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
15BartraDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
32Jonathan Dos SantosMidfielder
20Sergi RobertoMidfielder
23CuencaStriker
7PedroStriker
Players to Watch
Stefan Reinartz
Stefan Reinartz
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 3
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 0 0
A defender by trade, the 23-year-old Germany international has been mainly employed as a holding midfielder this season, and he will be the man screening Bayer's defence from Messi's guile.
Xavi
Xavi
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 6
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The midfield maestro was surprisingly an unused substitute for the second league game in a row, as Barcelona crashed to defeat on a freezing night in Pamplona at the weekend. A re-energised Xavi - along with the returning Iniesta - could just be the answer to get the zip back in Barca's play away from Camp Nou.
Prediction
Leverkusen would probably have wanted Barcelona to win at the weekend, as a defeat means they have to contend with the prospect of a backlash from the visitors. The Catalans have some key personnel returning to action and should have too much for their hosts on what looks set to be another freezing night of football in Germany.
Editor's Prediction

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