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Champions League Group E preview: Leverkusen eye top spot

23 November 2011 17:45

Bayer Leverkusen host Chelsea and Valencia welcome Genk in Champions League Group E action on Wednesday.

After losing 2-0 to Chelsea in their first Champions League meeting this season at Stamford Bridge, Bayer Leverkusen - who are two points behind the Blues – can move to the top of the group if they win the clash at the BayArena.

Leverkusen defeated Kaiserslautern 2-0 on Friday, with former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack scoring for the second time in four matches.

And the former Chelsea midfielder would dearly love to find the back of the net again at the BayArena, where Leverkusen have won both of their group matches so far.

Chelsea suffered another home defeat in their last match, with Liverpool claiming all three points in a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

That result has increased the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas, who is dearly missing Michael Essien in his screening role in front of what has been a suspect defence of late.

David Luiz and John Terry have been making far too many errors and a slip-up against the Germans could prove costly on Wednesday.

Just a point behind Leverkusen in third are Valencia, who host Belgian side Genk in what shapes as a must-win match for Unai Emery's men.

A win against Genk – who have just two draws from their four matches so far – will put the La Liga outfit above Leverkusen, unless they defeat Chelsea.

And with just two matches remaining in the group stage, Valencia's qualification into the last 16 could depend on the result they get at the Mestalla.

Emery's side will take heart from a strong second half showing against Real Madrid on Saturday, in which they nearly came from two goals down to force a draw.

Instead, they lost 3-2 but they remain third in La Liga and had won their past four matches before losing to Real.

That good form will give the Spaniards confidence and they should have enough quality to defeat Genk.

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