A revived Bayer Leverkusen have a chance of progressing from Group D should they beat section winners Juventus.
Article top media content
Bayer Leverkusen are mounting a late charge in UEFA Champions League Group D, but still need a favour from elsewhere as they welcome section winners Juventus on Matchday 6.
• The German side have won their last two fixtures to climb up to third with six points, one behind second-placed Atlético Madrid, with Juventus unbeaten and clear at the top on 13. That means Leverkusen will go through if they beat Juventus and Atlético do not win at home to bottom side Lokomotiv Moskva.
• Maurizio Sarri's Juve have won their last four UEFA Champions League matches, the first of them a 3-0 defeat of Leverkusen in Turin on Matchday 2 thanks to goals from Gonzalo Higuaín (17), Federico Bernardeschi (62) and Cristiano Ronaldo (89).
• The sides' only fixtures before this season came in the second group stage of the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League, when David Trezeguet's two goals and one each from Alessandro Del Piero and Igor Tudor helped Juve to a 4-0 victory in Turin.
• Leverkusen turned the tables with a 3-1 home success thanks to a penalty from goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt, plus further goals from Thomas Brdarić and Marko Babić, and went on to finish first in the section – ultimately reaching the final. Juve were eliminated in fourth place.
• Having opened Group D with a 2-1 defeat at home to Lokomotiv, Leverkusen lost at Juve and Atlético (0-1) to make it two wins in 16 UEFA Champions League matches (D8 L6). They then beat Atlético 2-1 in their last home fixture before a 2-0 success at Loko last time out in what was their 100th match in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final. They are the 22nd club to reach that landmark.
• The Werkself have drawn seven of their last 14 European home games (W5 L2).
• In the UEFA Champions League, Leverkusen have won only two of their last eight matches at the BayArena (D4 L2).
• Fourth in last season's Bundesliga, 2002 runners-up Leverkusen are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 12th time, and the first since 2016/17. They have reached the last 16 or better in seven of their last eight campaigns, most recently getting to the 2016/17 round of 16 where they lost to Atlético (2-4 h, 0-0 a).
• Absent from Europe in 2017/18, for the first time in eight years, Leverkusen finished first in their UEFA Europa League section last season ahead of Zürich, AEK Larnaca and Ludogorets, but lost on away goals to Russian side Krasnodar in the round of 32 (0-0 a, 1-1 h).
• Leverkusen's last home game against Italian visitors was a 4-4 draw against Roma in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage, a game in which they led 2-0 and trailed 4-2 before salvaging a point late on.
• Leverkusen's home record against Serie A teams is W4 D2 L3; they have won three of their last five such matches (D1 L1).
• Sarri's first European game as Juventus coach looked set to end in a victory as they led 2-0 at Atlético on Matchday 1 only to be pegged back by two late goals to draw 2-2. Juventus made no such mistake in their second fixture, against Leverkusen, and then beat Lokomotiv 2-1 home and away, before a 1-0 home defeat of Atlético made it five wins in their last ten UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L3).
• In 2018/19, under Massimiliano Allegri, Juve finished first in Group H ahead of Manchester United, Valencia and Young Boys, picking up 12 points. After turning round their tie against Atlético in the round of 16 (0-2 a, 3-0 h), they drew 1-1 at Ajax in the first leg of their quarter-final only to bow out following a 2-1 home defeat.
• Juve were without a victory in four European away matches before winning at Lokomotiv in their last such fixture, losing at Young Boys (1-2) on Matchday 6 last season before the defeat by Atlético and draws at Ajax and, this season, Atlético. The defeat in Switzerland ended Juve's five-match winning run in UEFA Champions League away matches.
• The Matchday 2 win against Leverkusen was Juve's first in five games against German clubs (D3 L1), and a first since a 3-0 success at Borussia Dortmund in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg (5-1 aggregate).
• Juve's last trip to Germany ended in a 4-2 extra-time defeat at Bayern München in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg. That 2015 success at Dortmund is their only win in their last seven visits (D2 L4).
• Champions of Italy for a record eighth season in a row in 2018/19, this is Juve's 20th UEFA Champions League campaign; they have now reached the last 16 in 17 of those seasons.
• Winners in 1985 and 1996, Juventus have played in nine European Cup finals – losing a record seven, including all of their last five.
Links and trivia
• Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt made his professional debut at Ajax in 2016 under current Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz.
• Sven Bender was in the Dortmund side beaten 3-0 at home by Juventus in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg; Gianluigi Buffon and Leonardo Bonucci featured for Juve.
• Have played in Germany:
Sami Khedira (Stuttgart 1995–2010)
Douglas Costa (Bayern 2015–17)
• Have played together:
Moussa Diaby & Gianluigi Buffon, Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain 2018/19)
Daley Sinkgraven & Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax 2016–19)
• International team-mates:
Jonathan Tah, Sven Bender, Lars Bender, Kerem Demirbay, Kai Havertz, Kevin Volland, Karim Bellarabi & Sami Khedira (Germany)
Lucas Alario & Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina)
• Leverkusen have won five of their last six competitive games (D1), including a 2-1 victory at Bayern München on 30 November.
• Leon Bailey was on target twice in Munich – his first Bundesliga goals since the opening weekend on 17 August.
• The win at Bayern was only Leverkusen's fifth victory there in 41 attempts.
• Leverkusen were 2-1 winners at home to Schalke on Saturday, Lucas Alario scoring twice to make it four goals in his last six club games.
• Daley Sinkgraven, who had not played since 5 October due to a thigh problem, returned as a substitute in Munich.
• Kai Havertz played 71 minutes on Saturday, his first appearance since 10 November due to a thigh injury.
• Joel Pohjanpalo, who was out between March 2018 and October 2019 due to persistent foot problems, suffered an ankle injury in training with the Finnish national team on 12 November and has not played since.
• Mitchell Weiser tore a ligament in his right ankle against Freiburg on 23 November, an injury that is expected to sideline him for the rest of 2019.
• On Matchday 5 Cristiano Ronaldo made his 175th UEFA club competition appearance, overtaking Paolo Maldini's record for an outfield player and moving clear in second place on the all-time list. Iker Casillas holds the overall record on 188 games.
• Having found the net against Leverkusen on Matchday 2, Ronaldo has now scored against 33 teams in the UEFA Champions League.
• Ronaldo gave Juventus the lead at Lazio on Saturday, but the home side hit back to win 3-1 and inflict Juve's first defeat of the season in all competitions in their 20th match (W15 D4).
• Juve were unbeaten in 14 Serie A matches (W11 D3) before losing to Lazio.
• Juventus have won eight of their last 12 games by a one-goal margin, five 2-1 and three 1-0.
• Paulo Dybala has scored in three of his last five games for Juve.
• Juventus won their first nine home games of the season in all competitions but were held 2-2 by Sassuolo on 1 December, allowing Internazionale to take over at the top of Serie A.
• Gianluigi Buffon made his fifth league appearance of the season against Sassuolo and is now only two games behind Maldini's record of 647 Serie A appearances. Buffon had already played over 100 Serie A games when Sassuolo goalkeeper Stefano Turati was born.
• Rodrigo Bentancur was taken off injured just before half-time against Lazio.
• Midfielders Sami Khedira (right knee) and Adrien Rabiot (thigh) both missed the game against Sassuolo. Rabiot has been out since 23 November although he was an unused substitute against Lazio, while Khedira underwent arthroscopic surgery and is not expected to return to action until early next year.
• Douglas Costa has not played since suffering a thigh injury in the 3-1 at Atalanta on 23 November.
• Long-term absentees Giorgio Chiellini (knee) and Mattia Perin (shoulder) are not in the UEFA Champions League squad.
• Leonardo Bonucci (2024) and Juan Cuadrado (2022) have both recently signed contract extensions.
• Ronaldo was voted as best player of the 2018/19 Serie A season at the Gran Gala del Calcio on 2 December. He was also voted in the team of the season, as were Juve team-mates Chiellini and Miralem Pjanić.
• Also on 2 December, Matthijs de Ligt won the Kopa Trophy - the award for the best Under-21 player of last season - at the Ballon d'Or ceremony.