Juventus
    Juventus
      09.11.2019 18:00 - in: UCL S

      Opposition Watch: Bayer Leverkusen

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      The latest lowdown on the German outfit

      With Saturday's 2-1 victory against Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen are currently in 4th place in the Bundesliga with 25 points, six points from first place, currently occupied by Borussia Mönchengladbach.

      Between both the league championship and cup matches, Kevin Volland is their top scorer with seven goals, followed by Lucas Alario (five), Leon Bailey (four), Kai Havertz (three), Karim Bellarabi (two) and Sven Bender, Moussa Diaby, Paulinho and Charles Aranguiz with one.

      The BayArena match will be vital for Leverkusen, as should the Germans emerge victorious and Atletico Madrid fail to beat Lokomotiv Moscow, Die Werkself would qualify for the Champions League Last 16.

      In the first game, played on 1 October at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Maurizio Sarri's team easily won 3-0 thanks to goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Federico Bernardeschi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Bayer side initially started with a dynamic 4-2-3-1, the formation most often used by Peter Bosz, the very same coach who in the 2016/2017 season handed Matthijs de Ligt his debut with the Ajax First Team.

      The high defence of Bosz' team

      Presenting Bayer 04 Leverkusen in first match,  the characteristics of the German team are very much based on the ideas of their Dutch coach, Bosz who makes his team press high, look to immediate recover the ball when out of possession and to keep the units compact, there are just some of the essential elements of his football. These are all aspects that make the Germans often aggressive and dangerous, but also exposes them to a constant danger through their high defence, (an inevitable choice if you want to keep the team compact) which leaves many spaces in-behind, spaces that Juventus exploited in the first game, especially on the occasions of the first and third goals.

      In both situations the Germans not only carry the defensive line well beyond their own penalty area, but with the advancement of a defender from the four-man line, only three remain to defend.

      On the occasion of the goal to make it 1-0, Higuain attacks the space behind the Bayer defence and on the long throw he finds himself in a situation of 1vs1 and the Argentine is able take advantage of it.

      The goal to make it three arises from a precise longball from Paulo Dybala to Ronaldo who, starting from his normal position, gets past the German defence, (high and with only three men) attacking deep.

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