Juventus vs. Bayer Leverkusen: UEFA Champions League probable line-ups, match stats and LIVE blog
One of the hottest prospects in football, Kai Havertz, has a chance to shine on the European stage alongside Cristiano Ronaldo when Bayer Leverkusen take on Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday (kick-off: 9pm CEST/8pm BST/3pm ET).
Juventus are yet to lose a game this season, but are still second in Italy’s Serie A behind Inter Milan despite three consecutive league victories over minnows Verona, Brescia and SPAL. Ronaldo missed the second of those games with a thigh injury, but the Champions League’s all-time top scorer did strike in the other two. The Portugal international failed to score in the Old Lady’s opening group game against Atletico Madrid as the Italian champions threw away a two-goal lead in Spain and had to settle for a point in Group D, however. There are a number of big names missing from Maurizio Sarri’s European squad, including former Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can and Mario Mandzukic, who won the Champions League as part of a treble with Bayern Munich in 2013. Captain Georgio Chiellini is a long-term absentee with a cruciate ligament tear, while former Bayern winger Douglas Costa is doubtful with a thigh strain.
Leverkusen have bounced back from consecutive defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Lokomotiv Moscow to claim confidence-boosting victories against Union Berlin and Augsburg in the Bundesliga. Havertz was one of the goalscorers in the 3-0 win over the latter on Saturday, also setting up top scorer Kevin Volland for the second of the afternoon. The 20-year-old is yet to open his Champions League account in four career appearances, but has 19 in his last 40 Bundesliga games as he approaches 100 matches in the German top flight. Leverkusen are unbeaten in their last five away Champions League outings stretching back to 2015, but head to Turin without their Jamaican wing wizard Leon Bailey because of a torn muscle he suffered in the loss to Lokomotiv.