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Group E analysis: Barcelona, Leverkusen, Roma, BATE

Group E pits Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen – against whom Lionel Messi scored five in 2012 – with BATE "hearts soaring" at the prospect of facing the holders.

Holders Barcelona take on Leverkusen, Roma and BATE in Group E
Holders Barcelona take on Leverkusen, Roma and BATE in Group E ©UEFA.com

Group E pedigree
Barcelona (ESP) – Pot 1
Previous group stage campaigns: 19 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League winners
Best European Cup performance: winners (1991/92, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15)

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) – Pot 2
Previous group stage campaigns: 9 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: runners-up (2001/02)

Roma (ITA) – Pot 3
Previous group stage campaigns: 8 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage/UEFA Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: runners-up (1983/84)

BATE Borisov (BLR) – Pot 4
Previous group stage campaigns: 4 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
Best European Cup performance: group stage (2008/09, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2014/15)

Matchday one fixtures (Wednesday 16 September)
Leverkusen v BATE
Roma v Barcelona

Watch Messi's five goals v Leverkusen
Watch Messi's five goals v Leverkusen

Key group facts

  • Leverkusen were unbeaten in their first three games against Barcelona, winning two, but have since lost the last five – most recently a 7-1 defeat at the Camp Nou in the 2011/12 round of 16 second leg in which Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in one UEFA Champions League match.
  • Roma registered a home win (3-0) and an away draw (1-1) against Barcelona in the 2001/02 second group stage. The tables were turned when they were paired with Leverkusen in the 2004/05 group stage, the Italian side losing 3-1 in Germany and being held 1-1 at home.
  • BATE conceded a record 24 goals in the 2014/15 group stage and, worryingly, shipped nine against Barcelona in their 2011/12 group, succumbing 5-0 in Belarus – Messi scoring twice – and 4-0 in Spain.
  • BATE have never played Roma or Leverkusen.

Reaction to the draw
Josep María Bartomeu, Barcelona president

We've been drawn with good teams and the fans will be excited about the matches. The teams are all strong, especially Roma, and it will be a great spectacle. I also think our squad is more competitive than ever and capable of retaining the Champions League, although it will be difficult.

Rudi Garcia, Roma coach
We will face reigning champions Barcelona, which will be a pleasure for our fans to watch. Leverkusen are a quality team like all German sides right now. I think this group is wide open behind Barcelona.

Aleksandr Ermakovich, BATE coach
The chance to play Barcelona again makes our hearts soar. We want to make our mark as well and compete with Roma and Leverkusen. It is clear it will be very hard, but why should we stand aside?

Roberto Hilbert, Leverkusen defender
Those are pretty much the toughest opponents that you can get.

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