Date: August 19, 2014
Venue: Telia Parken, Copenhagen
Kick-off time: 7.45 pm BST
German outfit Bayer Leverkusen travel to Denmark as they take on FC Copenhagen in the first leg of their Champions League playoff. With a place in the lucrative group stages at stake, both teams will be keen to get a positive result to take into the second leg of the tie a week later.
FC Copenhagen’s form: D-W-L-L
The most successful club in Danish Superliga history with ten titles, Copenhagen were beaten to the championship last season by Aalborg – and so have to attempt to quality for the Champions League group stages through the non-champions route. They disposed of Ukrainian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the third qualifying round, 2-0 on aggregate.
Their league form, however, has been very poor, with just five points from their opening five fixtures, including defeats in their last two to Hobro IK (3-0) and FC Midtjylland (2-1).
Bayer Leverkusen’s form: W-W-W-W
The German side got their season up and running with a comprehensive 6-0 win over SV Alemannia Waldalgesheim in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.
They had good results in pre-season as well, with their most recent friendly being a 1-0 win over Southampton.
Key Players/Team News
Their key player is Andreas Cornelius, currently in his second stint at the club after his injury-hit spell with Cardiff City last season. He has already notched four times this term, with three of them coming in the league and one in the win over Dnipro.
The ever-impressive Stefan Kießling was their top scorer last season and notched five in that 6-0 cup win. Their other prolific goal-getter last season was South Korean Son Heung-min, while much is expected of new Swiss signing Josip Drmic, who arrived from Nurnberg.
Influential midfielder Lars Bender misses out through injury.
On paper, this should be a win for Leverkusen. However, while the Danes have been well below their best in the league, they managed a good win over Dnipro and have a lot more competitive action under their belt.
This should be a cagey affair and I like the look of the price on the draw at 3.75 with Bet365. If you open a new account with them, you can also get bonuses and free bets worth £200.