bundesliga.com has the pre-match skinny on Matchday 24's closing fixture...
Paderborn dropped into the bottom three for the first time this season following last weekend's defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach and desperately need the points in their battle to stay afloat. A top-four finish marks Leverkusen's agenda, with as many as five other clubs in the hunt for the UEFA Champions League places.
Berlin-born midfielder Süleyman Koc was a second-half substitute last time out 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 exertions of being in the third round of the DFB Cup by 1. FC Kaiserslautern in midweek. 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.
is going to have to put in the same level of performance that helped Paderborn record their only win this calendar year against Hannover 96 on Matchday 21. The Albanian string puller has an eye for goal and is more than capable of running games, but only if he has the necessary support in the final third.
Son will be raring to go after missing the DFB Cup win over Kaiserslautern through suspension. The nifty attacker is beginning to hit his stride after steering South Korea to the final of the Asian Cup at the start of the year - which can only be bad news for a Paderborn defence that's shipped nine goals in their last three outings.
Breitenreiter: "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."
Roger Schmidt: "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."
Paderborn have lost to FC Bayern München and Gladbach since getting the better of Hannover at the start of February. Leverkusen, by contrast, have won their last three in all competitions, but have picked up just one point from their last two league games on the road.
The two sides' only meeting at this level back on Matchday 7 turned into quite a spectacle, with Leverkusen twice coming from behind in a thoroughly entertaining 2-2 draw. Stoppelkamp looked to have won it for Paderborn after Lars Bender had cancelled out Koc's opener, only for Karim Bellarabi to level matters in the 90th minute.
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