Bayer 04 Leverkusen will look to spoil CA Osasuna's European quarter-final debut as the two sides meet in the first leg of their UEFA Cup tie in Germany.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen will look to spoil CA Osasuna's European quarter-final debut as the two sides meet in the UEFA Cup in Germany.
• The teams have never met in UEFA club competition.
• Michael Skibbe's side pipped Beşiktaş JK to third place in Group B with a 2-1 win against the Turkish outfit on the final day of group stage. They subsequently knocked Blackburn Rovers FC out in the Round of 32, winning 3-2 at home and drawing 0-0 in England. Leverkusen lost the first leg of their Round of 16 tie 2-1 at RC Lens but reached the last eight with a 3-0 home win in the return.
• Osasuna reached the knockout phase as runners-up in Group D. After 209 goalless minutes in their Round of 32 tie against FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Javad Nekunam scored in the closing seconds of the second period of added time to take José Ángel 'Cuco' Ziganda's side through to the last 16. They then drew 1-1 at Rangers FC in the Round of 16 and subsequently progressed thanks to Pierre Webó's goal in the home leg.
• "We'll approach this challenge confidently," said coach Michael Skibbe after the draw. "It's a really interesting draw for us, although it's a pity to play at home first. Osasuna came through against Rangers so that gives an indication of how difficult it's going to be." Sporting director Rudi Völler added: "We're looking forward to the challenge. It's going to be a tough task against Osasuna, Spanish teams are always technically strong."
• After the draw, Ziganda hoped that the away leg of the tie would set his side up to reach the semi-finals on home soil, saying: "Ideally we'd like a positive result in Germany and then to qualify at home. We knew that all the sides in the draw would be difficult, but Leverkusen are a great club with a proud history and tradition. They're the favourites to qualify for the semi-finals but we'll be pushing them all the way."
• Leverkusen's Round of 16 victims Lens won 3-1 against Osasuna in the group stage. Ziganda said: "We know Leverkusen have some good international players, not to mention that they ousted Lens, an opponent we know only too well, in the previous round."
• Pamplona-based Osasuna have a fine record against Bundesliga opposition, with their four matches against German teams yielding an away victory - against VfB Stuttgart in this competition in 1991/92 - and three draws.
• Leverkusen have played 17 games against Spanish teams, winning six, drawing three, and losing eight.
• The German club's first trip to Spain witnessed one of their most memorable results, a 1-0 triumph at FC Barcelona which secured an aggregate success by the same scoreline in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup quarter-finals. Erich Ribbeck's men overcame another Catalan side in the final, RCD Espanyol, to collect their first continental trophy, but were denied a second by Primera División opponents when losing the 2002 UEFA Champions League final to Real Madrid CF. That game was played at Hampden Park, the venue for this season's UEFA Cup final.
• Leverkusen's last appearance in a European quarter-final was in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League as they beat Liverpool FC 4-3 on aggregate en route to a final appearance - and a 2-1 defeat - against Real Madrid CF. This is their third appearance in a UEFA Cup quarter-final.
• This is Osasuna's first appearance in a European quarter-final.
• Leverkusen have won their last three European home games since the club's former striker Dimitar Berbatov scored the winner in a 1-0 victory for Tottenham Hotspur FC in the UEFA Cup group stage on 23 November.
• Osasuna are unbeaten in their last three European away games since losing 3-1 at RC Lens in the UEFA Cup group stage on 2 November.
• Leverkusen have not won a European away fixture since a 2-0 victory at Maccabi Haifa FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage. Their subsequent 15 away games have failed to yield a victory.
• Osasuna have won their last three European home games since being held to a 0-0 draw at home by SC Heerenveen in the UEFA Cup group stage. They have not lost a home game in Europe since a 1-0 defeat against eventual winners AFC Ajax in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup third round, seven games ago.
• Argentinian-born striker Bernardo Romeo could prove a useful asset for Osasuna. The 29-year-old, who holds an Italian passport, played in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV between 2002 and 2005 before joining Osasuna. During those years, he played alongside Leverkusen's veteran Bosnia-Herzegovnian midfielder Sergej Barbarez.
• Karim Haggui is available again for Leverkusen after serving a one-match suspension, but a booking at the BayArena would mean team-mates Sergej Barbarez, Tranquillo Barnetta, Gonzalo Castro and Andriy Voronin missing the second leg.
• Yellow cards could easily prove costly for Osasuna with eight players within a caution of a one-match ban. Enrique Corrales, Javier Flaño, Raúl García, David López, Valdo, Josetxo Romero, Roberto Soldado and Pierre Webó must be on their best behaviour.
• England, still represented in this season's competition by Tottenham Hotspur FC, and Germany, with Leverkusen and Werder Bremen flying the flag, have each won the UEFA Cup on six occasions. Italy are out in front as the most successful nation with nine triumphs, although they can no longer add to that haul this season.
• The second leg will be played on 12 April. The aggregate winners will face Sevilla FC or Tottenham Hotspur FC in the semi-finals, staging the home leg on 26 April before playing the return away on 3 May. The UEFA Cup final will be held at Hampden Park, Glasgow, on 16 May.