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Leverkusen look to inflict more woe on CSKA

Bayer Leverkusen will look to ensure another unhappy visit to Germany for CSKA Moskva when the teams meet in their opening fixture in UEFA Champions League Group E.

Leverkusen players celebrate qualifying for the group stage
Leverkusen players celebrate qualifying for the group stage ©AFP/Getty Images

Bayer 04 Leverkusen and PFC CSKA Moskva will meet for the first time when they face off in their opening fixture in UEFA Champions League Group E.

• CSKA will be keen to stop history repeating itself, having lost their opening group stage fixture in Germany 12 months ago, but they are up against a Leverkusen team with a strong recent home record in Europe.

Match background

• Third in last season's Bundesliga, Leverkusen are competing in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the fourth consecutive season.

• Eliminated in the group stage last term, Roger Schmidt's men went on to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 16 before losing to Villarreal CF (0-2 aggregate).

• Leverkusen are unbeaten at home in UEFA competition since November 2014. Their European record at the BayArena last season was P6 W3 D3 L0.

• The Bundesliga club last faced Russian opposition in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage when they beat FC Zenit both home (2-0) and away (2-1).

• Like Leverkusen, this is the fourth successive group stage campaign for Russian champions CSKA. They will be eager to improve on last season's performance when they finished bottom of their group (W1 D1 L4).

• CSKA have a 100% losing record in Germany: P5 L5.

• They maintained their losing streak against Bundesliga sides when going down 1-0 against a VfL Wolfsburg side on matchday one of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League. CSKA also lost the return fixture 2-0 in Khimki.

Coach and player links
• As FC Moskva coach, Leonid Slutski lost to Hertha BSC Berlin in the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup (0-0 away, 0-2 home).

• Lacina Traoré appeared as a 90th-minute substitute in AS Monaco FC's 1-0 victory at Leverkusen in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage. He had previously scored in Germany for FC Anji in a 1-1 draw at Hannover 96 in a 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.

• Aleksandar Dragović helped Austria earn a 1-0 home UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying victory over a Russia side containing Igor Akinfeev, Vasili Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich and Alan Dzagoev. Both Dragović and Julian Baumgartlinger played when Austria won the return 1-0 in Moscow; Akinfeev and Berezutski were in Russia's team.

• Dragović and Baumgartlinger faced Pontus Wernbloom in the same qualifying campaign when Austria and Sweden drew 1-1 in Vienna in September 2014.

• Hakan Çalhanoğlu came up against Akinfeev and Vasili Berezutski in Turkey's 0-0 friendly draw with Russia on 31 August this year.

• Dzagoev scored and Georgi Schennikov was sent off when their Russia team lost 2-1 to Kevin Volland's Germany in the group stage of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals.

• Zoran Tošić spent the second half of 2009/10 on loan at 1. FC Köln in the German Bundesliga.

• International team-mates:
Joel Pohjanpalo & Roman Eremenko (Finland)

Match facts

Joel Pohjanpalo nods in his debut goal
Joel Pohjanpalo nods in his debut goal©Getty Images

• Leverkusen began the season by edging fifth-tier SC Hauenstein 2-1 in the first round of the German Cup before a losing start to the Bundesliga, going down 2-1 to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach despite a debut goal from substitute Joel Pohjanpalo.

• Pohjanpalo, who had waited three years for his Leverkusen bow, came off the bench on Saturday to score a hat-trick against Hamburger SV, clinching a 3-1 win with two added-time goals.

• Karim Bellarabi lasted less than a minute on Saturday before suffering a groin injury.

• Lars Bender and Julian Brandt won silver medals with Germany at this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Bender suffered an ankle injury in the final against Brazil on 20 August and has not played since.

• On 22 August, Javier Hernández sustained a broken hand after falling down the stairs at home. He made his first Bundesliga appearance of the season on Saturday.

• Kevin Volland broke a finger during Germany's 2-0 friendly win against Finland on 31 August and had to withdraw from the FIFA World Cup qualifier in Norway four days later.

• Hakan Çalhanoğlu scored a deflected free-kick for Turkey in a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Croatia on 5 September.

• Admir Mehmedi was on target for Switzerland in a 2-0 win against European champions Portugal on 6 September.

• Ukrainian midfielder Vladlen Yurchenko suffered a calf injury in training while on international duty and will be out until October.
• Bellarabi and Wendell extended their contracts until 2021 at the end of August.

CSKA Moskva
• CSKA are six games unbeaten since losing the Russian Super Cup against Zenit on 23 July.

• Saturday's 3-0 league defeat of FC Terek Grozny was CSKA's first at their new ground, the CSKA Moscow Stadium.

• Before Saturday there had been only six goals in as many games involving CSKA this season, four for the Army Men and two for their opponents.

Igor Akinfeev has made Russian history
Igor Akinfeev has made Russian history©Getty Images

• Igor Akinfeev, 30, won his 92nd cap in Russia's 1-0 friendly victory over Ghana on 6 September, breaking Rinat Dasaev's goalkeeping record Russia/Soviet Union.

• Vasili Berezutski won his 100th cap against Ghana, the third Russian to reach the milestone.

• Roman Eremenko was CSKA fans' player of the month for July and August after scoring three of the Army Men's four league goals over the first five matches.

• Mário Fernandes returned to full training on 6 September after shaking off a thigh injury picked up ten days earlier and started against Terek. Alan Dzagoev is also fit after withdrawing from international duty but did not feature on Satiurday.

• CSKA are 14 matches unbeaten in the Russian Premier League.