Bayer 04 Leverkusen will take part in the Champions League for the twelfth time. After being defeated at home 2-1 by Lokomotiv Moscow, the Germans will now face Juventus in Turin on Tuesday night, 18 years after the first and only time.
Opposition Watch: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
The German side's coach is 56-year-old Dutch Peter Bosz, and he has been the team's tactician since December 23, 2018, where he secured a fourth-place finish in the previous Bundesliga season. His team usually lines up in a dynamic 4-3-3.
In the poles is the Finn Lukáš Hrádecký, who on 8 September, was in goal for his national team against Italy in the Euro 2020 qualifying match played in Tampere.
The German twins Lars and Sven Bender are the defensive columns; the former, who is also captain, has been in Leverkusen since 2009, while the latter is one of the two central defenders of the rearguard. With him in the middle is Jonathan Tah, who is strong in the air. The left wing is manned by Brazilian Wendell, who has been at the club since 2014.
In the middle of the field is Chilean Charles Aránguiz and he plays alongside the Germans Kerem Demirbay and Kai Havertz, with the latter able to play as trequartista in case of a 4-2-3-1 formation. Against Lokomotiv, the Austrian Julian Baumgartlinger, who has been in Leverkusen for four years, played for the middle of the park. On the offensive front against Juventus, Leon Bailey will not be present due to injury.
There are two certainties who will play upfront: Karim Bellarabi and Kevin Volland both Germans represent one of the most important axes of Bosz's team.
Winning is fun: this has been the philosophy of the Dutch coach Bosz whilst on the Bayer 04 Leverkusen bench since last season. And to do this, the team must respect the classic principles of the modern game: prolonged possession, high pressing, immediate ball recovery, a lot of movement without the ball, big runs and, of course, quality in short and long plays.
All these elements resulted in Juventus' upcoming opponents an excellent Bundesliga campaign last season and, of course, an important Europe berth. Their style of play is one that varies from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1, as they showcased in the Champions League match against Lokomotiv Moscow.
The data of this match, which saw the Germans succumb to a 1-2 defeat at home, only confirmed the above mentioned ideas of the Dutch coach, despite achieving the main objective: 3 points. Against the Russians, Bayer 04 Leverkusen had a 70% ball possession, an 88% pass accuracy, and covered distance of 118.2 km.
The numbers explain a lot but not everything. Juventus will surely face a team without any points at Allianz Stadium, but one that is extremely well equipped and of great quality.