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Leverkusen v CSKA: line-ups, where to watch, form guide

Roger Schmidt hopes Leverkusen can "pick up where we left off on Saturday" as they welcome CSKA Moskva, who have been miserly on the road so far this season.

Leverkusen are on a high after a stirring weekend comeback
Leverkusen are on a high after a stirring weekend comeback ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Roger Schmidt feeling buoyant after rousing weekend win against Hamburg
  • Coach must decide whether to field Saturday's hat-trick man Joel Pohjanpalo
  • Both teams taking part in the group stage for the fourth time
  • CSKA have conceded just once in five domestic away games this season
  • Don't forget to pick your Fantasy Football team before the deadline

Possible line-ups
Leverkusen: Leno; Jedvaj, Tah, Toprak, Wendell; Bender, Kampl; Brandt, Mehmedi; Pohjanpalo, Hernández.
Out: Bellarabi (groin), Yurchenko (calf)
Doubtful: Kruse (illness)

CSKA: Akinfeev; Mário Fernandes, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov; Ionov, Wernbloom, Dzagoev, Eremenko, Golovin; Traoré.
Out: Cauņa (ankle)

Where to watch
Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt
Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt©AFP/Getty Images

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
If you get the better of the likes of Zenit in the league, you must be a good team. CSKA have shown recently how difficult they are to beat. I think our weekend win against Hamburg was superb preparation for this game, and I hope we can pick up where we left off on Saturday.

Joel [Pohjanpalo] has been superb lately and showed on Saturday how strong he is in the 16-yard box [scoring a hat-trick]. Whether he'll start remains to be seen, but he's definitely in contention.

Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
Leverkusen are a mobile side with decent strength-in-depth. They can easily replace players like [Kevin] Volland and [Karim] Bellarabi and still play with quality. I don't just mean [Joel] Pohjanpalo, who has scored four goals already this season – I also mean other young players like [Julian] Brandt.

We discussed Pohjanpalo and spoke about him with Roman Eremenko [a CSKA-based Finland team-mate]. However, Joel's goals were the result of team play: he simply finished things off. It's not about stopping any one player. The major question we will face is whether we can withstand the high speed Leverkusen play at. That will be key.

Joel Pohjanpalo after scoring his hat-trick
Joel Pohjanpalo after scoring his hat-trick©Getty Images

Weekend results
Leverkusen 3-1 Hamburg (Pohjanpalo 79 90+1 90+4; Wood 58)
Leverkusen were trailing when Pohjanpalo was introduced in the 66th minute. The Finland forward, who had struck a minute into his long-delayed debut for Leverkusen last month, claimed a hat-trick three days before his 22nd birthday, the last two coming in added time. Karim Bellarabi went off with a groin injury.

CSKA 3-0 Terek (L Traoré 26 38, Strandberg 78)
There was victory for the hosts in their first match at the new CSKA Moskva Stadium. CSKA remain unbeaten six games into the Russian season as on-loan Monaco player Lacina Traoré got off the mark for his new club with a first-half double; Terek ended up with ten men.

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

*This season only

Igor Akinfeev is targeting another clean sheet
Igor Akinfeev is targeting another clean sheet©Getty Images

Reporter's view: Matthew Howarth (@UEFAcomMattH)
With fixtures against Ligue 1 leaders Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur to come, this really is a must-win encounter for Leverkusen, who will be looking to carry the momentum from Saturday's comeback success over Hamburg into their Group E opener. CSKA have conceded just once in five away league matches in 2016/17. With Bayer still searching for a first clean sheet of the season, the Army Men will fancy their chances of at least a share of the spoils.

Did you know?
Leverkusen are unbeaten in six at home in Europe – how far back does that run stretch? Read more in our extensive match background.