Bayer 04 Leverkusen trail Chelsea FC by two points as the race to finish first in Group E comes to the boil and their ambitions will be enhanced if they can inflict a first defeat on the London side in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
A Chelsea victory would give them a place in the knockout rounds for the ninth successive season.
In the 13 September fixture between the sides – their first competitive meeting – goals from David Luiz and Juan Mata gave Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas a winning start in his first game in the competition.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen then put their first points on the board with a 2-0 home win against KRC Genk before Valencia CF were beaten 2-1 at the BayArena, although they subsequently lost 3-1 in Spain.
The Blues drew 1-1 at Valencia on matchday two before a 5-0 defeat of Genk – their biggest home success in the UEFA Champions League – and another 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Belgium.
Leverkusen‘s last European home game against English opponents ended in a 3-2 defeat of Blackburn Rovers FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup round of 32, ending a run of four successive home losses to Premier League sides.
In a total of 16 fixtures against English opponents, the Werkself have won two, with ten ending in defeat; at home their record is W2 D2 L4. Chelsea have only lost three of their 12 European games against Bundesliga opponents, winning seven; in Germany their record reads W1 D1 L3.
Chelsea’s sole success was a 1-0 win at VfB Stuttgart in the round of 16 of the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League.
They lost 3-2 at FC Bayern München in the 2004/05 quarter-final second leg but progressed having already won 4-2 at home. Michael Ballack scored a penalty for Bayern in the Stamford Bridge match.
Chelsea defeated German opposition to win the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final in May 1998, Gianfranco Zola scoring the only goal against Stuttgart in Solna.
Leverkusen are on course to match their achievement in their last UEFA Champions League group campaign seven years ago when they won all three home matches, against Real Madrid CF, AS Roma and FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Chelsea have lost just one of their last nine away group games, winning four.