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Lazio v Leverkusen background

Lazio and Leverkusen twice drew 1-1 in their previous UEFA Champions League encounters but something will have to give as they come together in the play-offs.

Lazio celebrate a Serie A goal
Lazio celebrate a Serie A goal ©Getty Images

Lazio will look to make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in eight years as they face Leverkusen in what is the Italian side's first play-off in this competition.

Previous meetings
• The teams drew 1-1 home and away in their only previous meetings, in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage. Sven-Göran Eriksson was Lazio coach while Christoph Daum was in charge of Leverkusen.

• The lineups for their last encounter, in Rome on 27 October 1999, were:
Lazio: Marchegiani, Favalli, Conceição (Stanković 76), Bokšić (Simone Inzaghi 59), Salas, Mihajlović, Pancaro, Nedvĕd, Verón (Simeone 89), Couto, Almeyda.
Leverkusen: Matysek, Reeb (Hejduk 67), Nowotny, Živković, Kirsten (Mamić 88), Emerson, Greško (Happe 25) , Beinlich, Schneider, Neuville, Ramelow.

Form guide
• Leverkusen are the only German side to have avoided defeat at Lazio from a total of five Bundesliga club visits; Lazio's home record against German teams is W4 D1 L0.

• Leverkusen's record in games in Italy reads W1 D3 L3. They have drawn 1-1 twice in Rome, against AS Roma (in 2004) as well as against Lazio.

• Leverkusen safely negotiated the UEFA Champions League play-offs at the first attempt in 2014/15, beating FC København home and away.

• Lazio are in the UEFA Champions League play-offs for the first time, yet have successfully navigated their way through three play-offs in the UEFA Europa League.

• Lazio have not featured in the UEFA Champions League since reaching the group stage in 2007/08 under Delio Rossi.

Links and trivia
• Lazio's German striker Miroslav Klose knows Leverkusen well; between 2000 and 2011, he played 23 Bundesliga matches against Leverkusen (W11 D5 L7), scoring eight times. The 37-year-old is his country's all-time top marksman with 71 Germany goals.

• Bayer midfielder Christoph Kramer and Lazio counterpart Lucas Biglia were on opposite sides in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final, with Germany edging Argentina 1-0.

• Leverkusen boast Italian talent in the form of right-back Giulio Donati; the former Internazionale trainee represented Lecce, Padova and Grosseto (all on loan) before heading to Germany in 2013.

• Lazio midfielder Christopher Oikonomidis and Leverkusen forward Robbie Kruse are team-mates with Australia.

• Two Bayer notables have connections with Lazio's local rivals; midfielder Tin Jedvaj played for Roma in the 2013/14 campaign before switching to Leverkusen, while sporting director Rudi Völler hit 45 goals in 142 Serie A games for the Giallorossi from 1987–92, later coaching the club in 2004.

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