Mainz - After a famous win in Milan secured progression to the UEFA Europa League quarter finals, second-placed VfL Wolfsburg travel to the Coface Arena to take on a revitalised 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday afternoon in a fixture which has always delivered goals (kick-off: 15.30 CET/14.30 GMT). has the pre-match lowdown from the two camps...

Not only to keep up their chase of FC Bayern München at the top, but also to hold third-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach at arm's length, Wolfsburg need to maintain their impressive Rückrunde form in Mainz. For the hosts, safely nested in 11th place, continuing an upswing in fortunes under Martin Schmidt is the aim.

Jonas Hofmann is certain to miss out, but fellow attacking midfielders Jairo Samperio and Christian Clemens are touch and go. Schmidt must also decide whether to play the more attacking Elkin Soto in midfield, or if the stability provided by Ja-Cheol Koo (r.) is a better option against the free-scoring visitors.

Aaron Hunt remains injured, but, with several high-class attacking midfielders as alternatives, Dieter Hecking will not be too worried. A bigger concern could be his side's freshness after Thursday's 2-1 win in Milan, meaning Mainz youth product Andre Schürrle (l.), Ivan Perisic or Maximilian Arnold could be used from the start.

With classily-taken goals in his last two games, Shinji Okazaki's return to form has coincided with his side's revival under Martin Schmidt. The Japanese international has been one of the main beneficiaries of Mainz's return to a high-pressing style of football, with his pace and movement also vital to die Nullfünfers' swift transitions.

Kevin De Bruyne has developed into one of the world's best young attacking midfielders this campaign, having laid on a remarkable 16 goals for his team-mates in the Bundesliga alone. Indeed, the Belgian international is hardly just a provider, and has only needed eight games of the Rückrunde to treble his pre-winter break goal tally.

Martin Schmidt (head coach): "We need to be passionate so that it's not fun to play against us. Plenty of teams have tried to stop De Bruyne, but we will manage to do so. I do, however, really think that Wolfsburg are developing into a real competitor for Bayern."

Dieter Hecking (head coach): "We're going to have to give it our all again on Sunday. We're facing a team who are unpleasant to play against and will demand everything from us. With their hard running and tactical discipline, Mainz make life tough for every opponent. We need to switch back to the day job and pick up more points."

A loss in Augsburg two weeks ago was nothing but a minor setback in the Wolves' near-flawless 2015: Hecking's side have since beaten Inter over two legs and SC Freiburg in the league. Mainz, meanwhile, are on the up under new man Schmidt, and, after taking seven points from four games, have eased away from the relegation zone.

Wolfsburg inflicted Mainz's first defeat of the season on Matchday 9, cruising to a 3-0 success courtesy of goals from Daniel Caligiuri, Ivan Perisic and Naldo. Last season, however, both sides prevailed on home soil, while historically, with eight wins to Mainz's five, the Wolves hold the upper hand in encounters between the two.

Possible line-ups:

1. FSV Mainz 05:
Karius - Brosinski, Bungert, Bell, Park - Baumgartlinger, Geis, Koo - Malli, de Blasis - Okazaki

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

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