SC Paderborn - Bayer Leverkusen: Hosts keen to escape relegation troubles
Image credit: Kicker.de

Bayer Leverkusen travel to the Benteler-Arena hoping to get the three points to push them into the top four, whilst Paderborn need the three points to edge them away from the relegation zone.

Paderborn dropped into the bottom three for the first time this season following last weekend's defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach and are in desperate need of the points in their battle to stay in the first division. A top-four finish meets Leverkusen's objective, but they face tough competition with as many as five other clubs in the hunt for the UEFA Champions League places.

In team news, for Paderdorn, Berlin-born midfielder Süleyman Koc was a second-half substitute last week and could start, should Andre Breitenreiter choose to stick an extra man in the middle of the park. Any such move would likely see Moritz Stoppelkamp drop to the bench, however.

Changes are expected after the midweek fixture going into extra time in the third round of the DFB Cup by 1. FC Kaiserslautern in. Roberto Hilbert, Wendell, Heung-Min Son and Stefan Kießling are being tipped to start, with Giulio Donati, Sebastian Boenisch, Julian Brandt and Josip Drmic set to drop to the bench.

Talking about the game, Paderborn manager Breitenreiter said: "The fans do everything to support the team. We have fond memories of the spine-tingling atmosphere back at the BayArena. We have to stay relaxed and not clam up. We've done a lot in training this week to clear our heads and we're looking forward to the game."

Breitenreiter went on to add: "We've had a good week in training and managed to clear our minds and now we're ready to go into this game with our usual joy,'' 

Leverkusen boss, Roger Schmidt said: "We've had a successful week, and we can add to that if we get an away win on Sunday. Paderborn's position in the table does not reflect their performances over the course of the season to date. They've looked solid tactically over the whole season and very strong mentally."

A win for Leverkusen would see them leapfrog FC Schalke o4 into fourth, whilst a win for Paderborn would see them move to 13th.

Possible line-ups:

Paderborn: L. Kruse - Wemmer, Strohdiek, Hünemeier, Brückner - Ziegler - Koc, Rupp, Bakalorz, Meha - Kachunga

Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Toprak, Spahic, Wendell - Castro, Rolfes - Bellarabi, Calhanoglu, Son - Kießling

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