Bayer Leverkusen vs Barcelona, Bay Arena @ 2:45 PM EST
Robin Dutt, the coach of Bayer Leverkusen has his work cut out for him. He faces Barca today in their Champions League first leg after a series of disappointing results in the Bundesliga has left his side in 6th place. They have managed only one win in seven matches in all competitions.
Goal scoring is an issue with only 28 goals from 21 appearances. Key injuries have decimated the team and Dutt is without the services of Michael Ballack, Erin Derdiyok, Sidney Sam, René Adler, and Tranquillo Barnetta.
The absence of Derdiyok is a particularly severe blow because of his Solksjaer like impact off the bench. Sam also an important factor in their 2-1 Valencia win will be badly missed.
Dutt is understandably quite realistic about their chances.
“No matter what tactics you employ, you have to prepare for Barcelona having 65 to 70% possession and your only chance of success is if you implement them and Barcelona have a bad day. “
The best goalscoring opportunities will come from midfielder Simon Rolfes, forward Stephen Kiessling, and on set pieces from their defenders who have scored 11 goals in the domestic season. Arne Friedrich scored a 91st winner in their group stage match against Chelsea sealing their entry into the second round.
Here is more about Dutt and his Indian roots including a possible future as that country’s coach.