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Metalist aim to avoid Leverkusen repeat

Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 22.05CET
FC Metalist Kharkiv visit opening Group K opponents Bayer 04 Leverkusen hoping to avoid a repeat of the two heavy defeats they suffered when the teams last met.
Metalist aim to avoid Leverkusen repeat
Lars Bender (C) of Leverkusen vies for the ball with Denys Oliynyk and Fininho when the clubs last met ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 22.05CET

Metalist aim to avoid Leverkusen repeat

FC Metalist Kharkiv visit opening Group K opponents Bayer 04 Leverkusen hoping to avoid a repeat of the two heavy defeats they suffered when the teams last met.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Metalist Kharkiv meet again in UEFA Europa League Group K, with the Ukrainian side looking to make amends for an unhappy outcome against the same opponents two seasons ago.

Previous meetings
• Jupp Heynckes' Leverkusen eliminated Metalist – coached then as now by Myron Markevich - from the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 32, winning 4-0 in Ukraine and 2-0 in Germany. Both results were landmarks for the Ukrainian side – their heaviest European home defeat and their equal worst result on their travels in UEFA competiton.

• The teams for that first meeting in Kharkiv on 17 February 2011 were:
Metalist: Dišljenković*, Villagra*, Valyayev, Cleiton Xavier*, Oliynyk, Fininho*, Pshenychnykh* (Berezovchuk 15), Cristaldo* (Lysenko* 68), Obradović*, Blanco*, Taison*.
Leverkusen: Adler, Reinartz*, Friedrich*, Bender*, Renato Augusto* (Rolfes* 74), Balitsch (Castro* 46), Vida, Sam*, Derdiyok (Kiessling* 79), Vidal, Kadlec*.

• Current Leverkusen team manager Sami Hyypiä was an unused substitute in this match.

• The teams for the return fixture on 24 February 2011 were:
Leverkusen: Adler, Schwaab*, Friedrich*, Rolfes* (Da Costa 64), Bender* (Vidal 46), Renato Augusto* (Kampl 64), Kiessling*, Ballack, Vida, Castro*, Jørgensen.
Metalist: Dišljenković*, Romanchuk, Shelayev*, Cleiton Xavier* (Vorobey 76), Oliynyk, Fininho*, Obradović*, Blanco*, Papa Gueye*, Dević (Cristaldo* 57), Taison* (Valyayev 57).
* registered to play for the club in 2012/13.

Match background
• In total, Leverkusen have played eight games against Ukrainian sides, with the record W5 D1 L2 (W3 D1 L0 at home – W2 D0 L2 away). They have won the most recent five of those matches.

• Metalist's only other experience of German opposition came in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, where they drew 0-0 at home against Hertha BSC Berlin.

• Leverkusen are beginning their fifth group stage campaign in this competition, and have never failed to progress to the round of 32.

• Leverkusen's last European outing was a 7-1 defeat at FC Barcelona in last season’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 – the heaviest European defeat in their history.

• Metalist have competed in three previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, reaching the knockout rounds on all three occasions, most recently last season.

• Metalist have yet to lose an away game in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage, recording five wins and three draws.

Team facts
• Metalist captain Milan Obradović briefly played in Germany with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2003, while José Ernesto Sosa was at FC Bayern München from 2007-10.

• Leverkusen's Lars Bender knows his way around the Metalist Stadium, having come on as a late substitute in Germany's 2-1 win against the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 2012.

• Team manager Hyypiä leads Leverkusen in collaboration with coach Sascha Lewandowski. Former Finland defender Hyypiä won the 2000/01 UEFA Cup and the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League during a ten-year spell at Liverpool FC, moving on to Leverkusen in 2009. After retiring in 2011, Hyypiä took up coaching roles with Leverkusen and Finland, and stepped in – initially on a caretaker basis – after the Werkself sacked Robin Dutt in April 2012.

• Metalist coach Markevich is a keen student of the game – he has made trips to study Fabio Capello, Christoph Daum and Carlo Ancelotti – and is also an able pianist. Having been in charge of Metalist since 2005, he was named Ukraine coach on his 59th birthday in February 2010 but stepped down that August to focus solely on his club duties.

Last updated: 17/09/12 16.06CET

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