Champions League Group E: Roma can rattle Bayer Leverkusen

Holly Thackeray | November 3, 2015

Roma v Bayer Leverkusen

  • Champions League
  • Wednesday, November 4th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
  • Stadio Olimpico, Rome
  • Live on BT Sport Extra 2

Rock-bottom Roma in must-win Bayer battle

Germany Soccer Champions League
Hosts Roma must rouse the Stadio Olimpico and take all three points from their crucial Champions League Group E encounter against Bayer Leverkusen, if they are to make up vital ground in a pool that has so proven rather perilous.

Coral have the Giallorossi priced as 6/5 favourites for a much-needed home victory against their German guests, as the Italian outfit currently languish last in their group. With this the only remaining chance to take points from Bayer, who sit two points ahead in second spot behind leaders Barcelona, a defeat or draw (5/2) will leave qualification hopes dangling by a thread.

Rudi Garcia’s guys have already shown they can grab goals against this opposition, after coming back from 2-0 down to eventually end evenly at 4-4 in the thrilling reverse fixture. Can Roma run rampant again? The Italian capital club are enticingly priced at 11/4 to score three or more, and they may need to.

“Mad match”

Germany Soccer Champions League
One cult hero with links to both clubs, Leverkusen sporting director and ex-Roma attacker Rudi Voller, said of the previous BayArena battle: “I’ve been in football for a few years now and I’ve seen everything there is to see but that night was a mad match.”

While a repeat of that night’s result is unlikely, having conceded more than they have scored so far in Europe, the Eternal City outfit must tighten up at the back. The Romans are still unlikely to be able to shut up shop against Bayer, though, and may be best to back at 13/5 to win with both teams to notch.

Daniele De Rossi’s likely absence due to injury, with the upcoming Rome derby in mind, may dent the Giallorossi’s defensive prospects even further, but Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan (5/1 to net anytime) was defiant ahead of the duel.

“Wednesday’s match is very important. We have to win it at all costs to be in with a chance of qualifying,” said the energetic Red Devils international.

Hitman Hernandez’s heroic goal haul

Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Rom
The most dangerous net threat to Roma’s wobbly rearguard is former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who bagged a brace against the Romans in Germany.

Six goals from his last four fixtures handed the Mexican marksman a spot in our list of five player picks to watch out for, and Hernandez is more than worth a midweek punt at 15/8 in the anytime market, or 10/1 to score two or more again. While, wing wizard Karim Bellarabi is also another scoring shout at 11/4 to strike anytime for the guests.

As for Roma, Miralem Pjanic (6/1 to draw first blood) is the hosts’ most in-form attacker, and the playmaker plus potent wideman Iago Falque (13/2 to have the final say), both got in the scoresheet previously at the BayArena.


Read our other Champions League previews

Coral’s top tip: Roma to win and both teams to bag at 13/5 is truly tempting