First Team News Preview

MATCH PREVIEW: Bayer Leverkusen vs Manchester United

Bayer Leverkusen vs Manchester United

UEFA Champions League, Matchday 5 – Wednesday 27th November, 2013 (19:45 KO BST) – BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany (30,210)

BayArena - Leverkusen


Sami Hyypia: “We always play well at home… I can hardly wait. I think it will be a great game.”

  • Will be without the services of Sidney Sam, who tore a thigh muscle in their weekend win over Hertha Berlin.

  • Sam has been an influential figure this season, with 8 goals and 5 assists in 16 games.

  • Jens Hegeler replaced Sam in the game and looks set to start vs United.

  • Defender Sebastian Boenisch, who has started all four Champions League matches this season, is a slight doubt.

  • Leverkusen will also be missing Stefan Reinartz and Roberto Hilbert, who both missed the win against Hertha.

  • Stefan Kießling has scored 8 goals in 12 Bundesliga starts, as well as 2 in this season’s Champions League.

  • “We want to spring a surprise,” said the 29-year-old striker.

  • Leverkusen are second in the Bundesliga, four points behind leaders Bayern and three ahead of Dortmund in third.

  • Second in Group A, with 7 points from 4 games.

  • Have won both Group A home games so far – 2-1 vs Real Sociedad and 4-0 vs Shakhtar Donetsk.

Predicted line-up: Leno, Donati, Toprak, Spahic, Can, Rolfes, Bender, Castro, Hegeler, Son, Kießling

Group A home record: P2 W2 D0 L0 F6 A1 Pts6

Group A home form: W W



Moyes: “We have to make sure we’re defensively sound and also that we go out there to win the game as well.”

  • Robin van Persie (groin) did not travel with the squad and will play no part.

  • Nemanja Vidic also stayed at home as he continues to recover from the concussion he suffered against Arsenal.

  • Both are injured. You knew Vidic had concussion, but we don’t think van Persie is quite ready yet,” David Moyes said.

  • After his late red card in Sociedad, Marouane Fellaini is suspended.

  • Phil Jones has returned to training and could be available for selection.

  • Rafael also resumed first team training and may feature in Germany.

  • Michael Carrick remains absent with an Achilles injury.

  • After coming off the bench against Cardiff, Danny Welbeck is once again back in first team contention after a knee injury.

  • After not featuring in Wales, Shinji Kagawa could be involved after international duty with Japan.

  • Antonio Valencia, Patrice Evra, and David de Gea have started all 4 Champions League matches so far this season.

  • Top of Group A with 8 points from 4 games.

  • Have drawn both Group A away matches so far – 1-1 in Donetsk and 0-0 vs Real Sociedad.

Predicted line-up: De Gea, Smalling, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Anderson, Cleverley, Giggs, Kagawa, Rooney

Group A away record: P2 W0 D2 L0 F1 A1

Group A away form: D D

Manchester United v Sociedad

Last five meetings

United 4-2 Leverkusen (17-09-13)

United 2-0 Leverkusen (13-11-02)

Leverkusen 1-2 United (24-09-02)

Leverkusen 1-1 United (30-04-02)

United 2-2 Leverkusen (24-04-02)


Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

The 34-year-old official has taken charge of two Champions League fixtures this season, brandishing five yellow cards and awarding a single penalty. He has yet to send a player off. Oversaw Leverkusen’s 7-1 hammering at the hands of Barcelona in 2011/12’s competition.

Assistants: Kim Thomas Haglund, Frank Andås (NOR)

Fourth Official: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)



United are unbeaten versus Leverkusen, with a record of three wins and two draws from five encounters.

The five matches between the two sides have so far averaged just under 3.5 goals per game.

Leverkusen are unbeaten at home since March.

Antonio Valencia, Patrice Evra, and David de Gea have started all 4 Champions League matches so far this season.

United have attempted 1711 passes in the four group games so far, 17th out of the 32 clubs in this season’s competition.

A win for United would see the Reds qualify for the knockout stages.

Score prediction: Leverkusen 1-1 United

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By Jack Holt

Once got told off by Steve Bruce.

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