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Champions League Group E: Roma need win against Leverkusen

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 19, 2015

Bayer Leverkusen v Roma

  • Champions League Group E
  • Tuesday, October 20th
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST
  • BayArena, Leverkusen
  • Live on BT Sport Extra 2

Roma need win to stay in contention to qualify

Belarus Soccer Champions League

Serie A giants Roma risk being left behind other Champions League Group E clubs, if they can’t grab a win against Bayer Leverkusen on the road.

The Italians are currently on one point from their two opening games, after drawing with Barcelona and then suffering a shock loss to BATE Borisov last time out, and are 16/5 with Coral for a first victory of the campaign.

This will be the duo’s first competitive meeting in over a decade, after they duelled in the Champions League group stage back in 2004/05. Bayer came out 3-1 winners that day, so are odds-on 10/11 match favourites and are more temptingly priced at 14/1 to triumph by that scoreline once more.

A draw would not be the end of the world for the Giallorossi, though, and that outcome has odds of 13/5.

While Roma are lagging behind in Europe, their domestic form has been terrific, and they are now on a run of three straight wins to put them just one point off top spot in Serie A.

De Rossi needs to keep discipline and carry scoring form

Italy Soccer Serie A

Daniele De Rossi was on target in his 500th game for the club at the weekend against Empoli, and the midfield destroyer 11/2 shout to score again anytime. He’ll be hoping to avoid being sent off, though, as he was in this fixture 11 years ago.

“There’s no question it won’t be easy against Leverkusen because we’re playing away from home and they are a quality side,” De Rossi said. “Qualification to the next round of the Champions League is at stake in this match so it will be a kind of mini knockout game.”

Premier League players aplenty in this fixture

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen

Evergreen forward and club captain Francesco Totti, 39, meanwhile, netted in that same match, so is a 5/2 chance in the same market. Former Premier League attackers Edin Dzeko (12/5), Mohamed Salah and Gervinho (both 13/5) are also ones to look out for.

As for the hosts, former Manchester United cult hero Javier Hernandez will be a familiar face, and the lively Mexican is 9/5 to add to his strike against BATE.

Fellow frontman Stefan Kiessling is also a 9/5 chance, while surprise scorer against Barcelona Kyriakos Papadopoulos is 6/1 to get another goal and continue his fine form after a number of long injury lay-offs.

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Coral’s top tip: Roma only have one point so far in Group E, but are in better form than Bayer domestically, so back a draw at 13/5.