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Leverkusen face test of credentials as Paris visit

Published: Monday 20 January 2014, 18.05CET
Bayer 04 Leverkusen must overcome a formidable obstacle in the shape of high-scoring Paris Saint-Germain if they are to reach a first quarter-final since 2002.

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Published: Monday 20 January 2014, 18.05CET

Leverkusen face test of credentials as Paris visit

Bayer 04 Leverkusen must overcome a formidable obstacle in the shape of high-scoring Paris Saint-Germain if they are to reach a first quarter-final since 2002.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen are aiming to reach their first UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 12 seasons as they host Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

• Leverkusen have not graced the last eight since 2002, the year they lost the UEFA Champions League final to Real Madrid CF. To get there again they must overcome a formidable obstacle in a Paris side who finished comfortable winners of Group C, scoring 16 goals in the process. Leverkusen were second in Group A behind Manchester United FC.

Match background
• Leverkusen's last foray into the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds came in 2011/12 when, up against FC Barcelona, they lost 3-1 at home and 7-1 in Spain.

• Paris were quarter-finalists last term for the first time since 1994/95 after overcoming Valencia CF 3-2 on aggregate in the round of 16 – with the help of a 2-1 first-leg win in Spain.

• Leverkusen have a 100% record in two-legged ties against French sides, all in the UEFA Cup. They overcame RC Lens 4-2 on aggregate in the 2006/07 round of 16, beat FC Nantes (5-1 agg) in the 1994/95 quarter-finals and got the better of Toulouse FC (2-1 agg) in the 1987/88 second round. On each occasion they won the home leg.

• Stefan Kiessling scored the only goal when Leverkusen last hosted Ligue 1 opposition, beating Toulouse 1-0 in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Leverkusen's home record against teams from France is W4 D1 L1.

• Zoumana Camara and Christophe Jallet are the only survivors of Paris's last visit to Germany for a 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage. Clément Chantôme scored an 87th-minute equaliser for a team captained by Claude Makelele, now the Parisian club's assistant coach.

• A Paris side including Camara won their only previous two-legged tie against Bundesliga opposition, 5-1 on aggregate against VfL Wolfsburg in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32. Guillaume Hoarau (2) earned a 2-0 home win in the first leg on 18 February 2009 before Péguy Luyindula (2) and Jérôme Rothen secured a 3-1 away victory.

• The visitors' overall record away to German clubs is W2 D1 L3.

• Leverkusen suffered their heaviest home defeat in European competition in November, losing 5-0 to Manchester United, but previously beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad de Fútbol at the BayArena.

• Paris scored ten goals in three away games in Group C, beating Olympiacos CF 4-1 and RSC Anderlecht 5-0 before a narrow 2-1 loss at SL Benfica. It was their first reverse in seven away matches in Europe.

Team ties
• This may be their teams' first encounter but coaches Sami Hyppiä and Laurent Blanc met on the pitch when the former's Finland side lost 1-0 to France in a June 1998 friendly in Helsinki. Hyypiä came out on top four years later, though, Liverpool FC winning 1-0 at Blanc's Manchester United in the only Premier League fixture they contested.

• Hyypiä was in the Liverpool team beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Olympique de Marseille in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round. He and Liverpool had mixed fortunes against OM in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League, losing 1-0 at home but winning 4-0 away.

• Blanc suffered a 2001/02 UEFA Champions League semi-final defeat at the hands of Leverkusen, his Manchester United team losing on away goals after following up a 2-2 home draw with a 1-1 draw at the BayArena. The following season, Blanc and United faced Leverkusen again in the first group stage, winning 2-1 away and 2-0 at home.

• As France coach, Blanc oversaw a 2-1 friendly success over Germany in February 2012 in Bremen, Jérémy Ménez and Lars Bender appearing as substitutes. Blanc scored the only goal in a Germany-France friendly in Stuttgart in June 1996.

• Blanc won his only previous UEFA Champions League meetings with Bundesliga opposition as a coach, overseeing home and away victories for FC Girondins de Bordeaux against FC Bayern München in the 2009/10 group stage.

• Giulio Donati and Marco Verratti were both in the Italy squad that reached the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final in Israel last June.

• Emir Spahić spent two seasons in Ligue 1 with Montpellier Hérault SC from 2009 to 2011. He scored a last-minute equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Paris in the opening game of 2010/11.

• Alex appeared as a substitute for Chelsea FC against Leverkusen in the 2011/12 group stage, coming off the bench in a 2-0 home win and again in a 2-1 away defeat.

• Thiago Motta helped Barcelona to a 2-1 victory at Leverkusen in the 2002/03 first group stage, as well as a 2-0 success back in Spain. Motta lined up against substitute Bender when his Italy side drew 1-1 with Germany in a Milan friendly in November.

• Bender also appeared as a substitute when Germany beat Gregory van der Wiel's Netherlands 2-1 in the group stage at UEFA EURO 2012, and once more in a 2-1 friendly victory over Blaise Matuidi's France in Saint-Denis in February 2013.

• Edinson Cavani scored against Germany (for whom Kiessling came on as a substitute) in Uruguay's 3-2 defeat in the play-off for third place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Cavani also found the net against Eren Derdiyok's Switzerland in Uruguay's 3-1 friendly win in the lead-up to those finals.

Last updated: 16/02/14 20.25CET