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Leverkusen v Lazio background

A decent record in recent European home matches may augur well as Leverkusen attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Lazio and return to the group stage.

Leverkusen's Roberto Hilbert shoulder-to-shoulder with Lazio's Senad Lulić
Leverkusen's Roberto Hilbert shoulder-to-shoulder with Lazio's Senad Lulić ©Getty Images

Despite a 1-0 defeat in Rome, Leverkusen still have plenty of hope as they go into their UEFA Champions League play-off decider against Lazio.

Previous meetings
A 77th-minute goal from substitute Keita in the Italian capital gave Lazio a slender advantage to take to Germany.

• The sides 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 teams for their last encounter in Germany on 14 September 1999 were:
Leverkusen: Matysek, Kovač, Nowotny, Zé Roberto, Emerson, Reichenberger (Ponté 82), Hejduk, Greško (Beinlich 67), Schneider, Neuville (Brdaric 73), Ramelow.
Lazio: Marchegiani, Negro, Bokšić (Salas 80), Mancini (Nedvĕd 76), Mihajlović, Nesta, Pancaro, Lombardo, Stanković, Verón (Simeone 50), Almeyda.

Form guide
• Leverkusen have won four of their last five European home games; however Lazio are unbeaten in four on the road (W1 D3) and have lost only one of their last 11 away fixtures in UEFA competition (W4 D6 L1).

• Leverkusen's home record against Italian clubs is somewhat inconsistent: W3 D1 L3.

• Lazio ended a four-match wait for a first win in Germany (D2 L2) with a 2-0 success over Stuttgart on their most recent trip, in the first leg of the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 16.

• Leverkusen made it through 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 getting to 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 games against Bayer (W11 D5 L7), scoring eight times. The 37-year-old is the German national team's all-time top marksman with 71 goals.

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

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

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

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

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