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Champions League: Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Roma preview

Kick off: Tuesday, 20.10.2015. @20:45

Venue: Bay Arena

Head to head record

AS Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 (Champions League)
Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Roma 3-1 (Champions League)

Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Roma prediction

Bayer Leverkusen head into the very important Champions League match on the back of a three-match winless run and no doubt they will have to show improvement if they want to remain in the driving seat for the second qualifying berth. Meanwhile, AS Roma recorded two comfortable wins in a row and they arrive at Bay Arena in excellent spirits.

All sorts of problems

Bayer Leverkusen faced a number of challenges at the beginning of a new season and while they passed the first test with flying colours to eliminate Lazio and reach the Champions League group stages, they have since found it hard to cope with everything thrown their way. Due to numerous injuries to important footballers, coach Roger Schmidt was unable to quickly rebuild the squad in the aftermath of summer changes, and die Werkself have struggled to find any sort of consistency. The team recovered from a three-match losing run in the league to beat Mainz and Werder Bremen, but this uptrend in fortunes was short-lived. And while Bayer gave a good account of themselves in the 2-1 Champions League loss to Barcelona, back to back draws with Augsburg and Hamburg are enough to suggest they are still far from the desired form. Coach Roger Schmidt faces serious selection issues ahead of the clash with AS Roma seeing that key midfielder Lars Bender is almost certain to miss out meaning that central defender Omer Toprak, who lacks match fitness himself, is expected to deputize, while the fact that Julian Brandt is the only attack-minded footballer in the squad to have netted more than once in the league is another major cause for concern.

Charles Aranguiz and Roberto Hulbert remain on the sidelines, whereas Kevin Kampl and Lars Bender are major doubts.

Scoring goals for fun

It was by no means easy for Rudi Garcia to get AS Roma playing to their potential after his squad underwent major changes in the summer, but the French coach definitely appears on the right track. Following some early season struggles, the Giallorossi seem to have stabilised their form, with several important players also returning to the side. Due to their attack-minded style of play, AS Roma will never be a force to be reckoned with at the back, but the poor defensive record is unlikely to be a problem as long as the current scoring run continues. The Giallorossi have scored two goals or more in seven of first ten games of the season and they have been especially impressive of late. Back to back wins over Palermo (4-2) and Empoli (3-1) are enough to suggest the team are slowly returning to their best, and it is important to note that these were achieved without some important footballers. Rudi Garcia will now have Edin Dzeko, Douglas Maicon and Antonio Rudiger back to the side and taking into account Leverkusen’s poor form as well, I wouldn’t bet against AS Roma winning this match.

Leandro Castan has returned into action, whereas Edin Dzeko, Antonio Rudiger and Douglas Maicon are back as well. Francesco Totti is a major doubt.

Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Roma betting tip

Bayer Leverkusen are clearly far from the desired form, with their forwards misfiring at the moment and coach Rudi Schmidt lacking the proper replacement for Lars Bender. Meanwhile, AS Roma have shown a great deal of improvement and I expect them to take at least one point from Bay Arena.

Tip: Roma not to lose

Odds: 1.95 (19/20) @888sport

[fixture match_id=”4030161752894988273669553″ type=”odds”]

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