Bremen - The race for the Bundesliga's European places could be blown wide open when SV Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg, the two best sides of the 2015 Rückrunde, go head to head in Matchday 23's curtain closer at the Weser Stadion on Sunday evening (kick off: 16.30 GMT/ 17.30 CET).

bundesliga.com gets the pre-match lowdown from northern Germany...

After FC Bayern München's win on Friday night extended their lead at the top to 11 points, Wolfsburg know that a slip-up in the title race is unthinkable. However, aiming to put the brakes on the Wolves' title challenge is a Bremen side rejuvenated under Viktor Skripnik, and who could themselves take a major step towards the European places with victory.

Bremen coach Skripnik is likely to opt for a similar side to that which has brought him 19 from 21 points on home soil, meaning Davie Selke (r.) and Franco Di Santo will start up top together. Fin Bartels' suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in last week's draw with Schalke means Levin Öztunali is likely to start in attacking midfield.

Aside from Ivan Perisic and Aaron Hunt, Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking has a fully-fit squad to make the short trip. After former Bremen man Kevin De Bruyne, Luiz Gustavo and Andre Schürrle started the 0-0 UEFA Europa League draw away to Sporting Clube de Portugal in midweek, Maximilian Arnold (l.) could provide some fresh legs in midfield.

While Skripnik will be the first to tell you that Bremen's upturn since his appointment in late October has been down to a unified team effort, it is hard to overlook the contribution of Franco Di Santo to Werder's successful cause. The Argentinian's blend of power, energy and finesse has brought him ten goals already this season - despite missing November and December through injury.

One goal ahead of Di Santo in the scoring charts is Wolfsburg's Bas Dost. The 25-year-old has netted nine times in 2015 alone, including six in his last two games, displaying the classic predatorial instincts which persuaded Wolfsburg to sign him from SC Heerenveen in 2012. Indeed, playing alongside De Bruyne and Schürrle has only brought the best out of the flying Dutchman.

Viktor Skripnik, Bremen coach (r.): "Wolfsburg have a lot of world-class players. I'm expecting a tough, but a good game."

Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach: "Werder will demand everything from us. We need a top performance but there's huge excitement ahead of this one."

Bremen and Wolfsburg are the Bundesliga's form sides of 2015. Both have picked up 13 from a possible 15 points (four wins, one draw), while Skripnik and Hecking have also ensured attractive, attacking football to boot. Indeed, the Wolves need only to avoid losing in order to equal a club record 11 consecutive games without defeat.

Historical omens certainly favour Wolfsburg. Against no team have the Wolves scored more Bundesliga goals (58) than the Green-Whites, while with Hecking (r.) in charge, Wolfsburg have beaten Bremen at all four attempts. Goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Ivica Olic ensured a 2-1 win at the Volkswagen Arena on Matchday 6.

Possible line-ups:

SV Werder Bremen:
Wolf - Gebre Selassie, Lukimya, Vestergaard, Garcia - F. Kroos - Fritz, Junuzovic - Öztunali - di Santo, Selke

VfL Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Träsch, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Guilavogui, Luiz Gustavo - Arnold, De Bruyne, Schürrle - Dost

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