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Leverkusen's Schmidt keen to take Roma chance

Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt views back-to-back Group E games against bottom-placed Roma as a "great chance to take a big step towards the round of 16".

Roger Schmidt's Leverkusen have already defeated Roman opposition this season
Roger Schmidt's Leverkusen have already defeated Roman opposition this season ©Getty Images
  • Leverkusen, in second, can take a "big step" towards the last 16 by beating Roma
  • Werkself coach Roger Schmidt is wary of the pace Roma have in forward areas
  • Schmidt's side eliminated Roma's city rivals Lazio in the play-offs
  • These clubs met in the 2004/05 group stage, Leverkusen taking four points
  • Roma look to bounce back after shock defeat by BATE on matchday two

Possible lineups
Leverkusen: Leno; Donati, Tah, Papadopoulos, Wendell; Kramer, Toprak; Bellarabi, Çalhanoğlu, Mehmedi; Hernández.
Out: Hilbert (knee), Aránguiz (achilles), Ryu (ankle)
Doubtful: Bender (foot), Kiessling (groin)

Roma: Szczęsny; Torosidis, Manolas, Castán, Digne; De Rossi, Pjanić, Nainggolan; Florenzi, Džeko, Salah.
Out: Keita (thigh), Totti (thigh)

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
I don't like looking at the opposition so much. We have to have our own plan and try to assert our game on them. Tomorrow we have a great chance to take a big step towards the round of 16. We need a win and this is how we will play.

Ömer Toprak keeps wrapped up in training
Ömer Toprak keeps wrapped up in training©AFP/Getty Images

Roma have a lot of quick players up front. Once they lead, they can counterattack nicely, which usually results in big wins. At the moment we have a small problem scoring. Nevertheless we play good football and I am sure we will take our chances again.

I am far from losing my cool about this. In the Champions League we have shown in the past year and a half that we are capable of causing problems for any team and asserting our game.

Rudi Garcia, Roma coach
We know Leverkusen are a very good side. They have played well in this group so far and they are really competitive. If we don't get results in the next two games it will be very, very difficult to progress.

BATE stunned Roma on matchday two
BATE stunned Roma on matchday two©AFP/Getty Images

We are using different systems in our games. We don't have to master just one; rather we must be tactically flexible. We have to put in a strong performance on Tuesday. There is no point looking backwards, not at the BATE loss and not at the draw against Barcelona. We have to win points if we want to go through.

A victory tomorrow would go a long way. It is not a decisive game, but it will point the way. There is no need to underline again the importance of this double-header against Leverkusen. We just have to give everything we have.

Weekend results
Hamburg 0-0 Leverkusen
Leverkusen are seventh after an inspired performance by Hamburg goalkeeper René Adler kept out the largely dominant visitors.

Roma have not been short of goals recently
Roma have not been short of goals recently©Getty Images

Roma 3-1 Empoli (Pjanić 56, De Rossi 59, Salah 69; Büchel 75)
The day belonged to Daniele De Rossi, who scored on his 500th Roma appearance. Miralem Pjanić's 56th-minute free-kick had put Roma in front and shortly afterwards De Rossi headed in a corner. Mohamed Salah turned in Gervinho's pass on 69 minutes to seal victory before a Marcel Büchel consolation. 

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Leverkusen: DDLWWL

Reporter's view: Matthew Howarth (@UEFAcomMattH)
Roger Schmidt's men will see this as a great opportunity to establish clear daylight between themselves and the Italian side in Group E. To do so, however, the Werkself will have to overcome a Roma team that have scored 14 goals in their last four matches in all competitions.

Did you know? 
Leverkusen have already got the better of Roma's city rivals Lazio this season, beating them in the UEFA Champions League play-offs; find out more in our extensive match background

City guide: Leverkusen
City guide: Leverkusen