Wolfsburg - Wounded VfL Wolfsburg welcome an FC Schalke 04 outfit to the Volkswagen Arena for Matchday 29's curtain-closer on Sunday evening in a fixture which never fails to deliver goals (kick-off 17:30 CEST/ 15:30 GMT).

bundesliga.com has the pre-match lowdown on a high-stakes encounter in Lower Saxony...

For Wolfsburg, assured of a berth in the top four, the visit of Schalke is a chance to bounce back from a humbling first home defeat of 2015 to SSC Napoli in midweek. Roberto Di Matteo's Royal Blues, however, are in the last chance saloon for UEFA Champions League qualification, and any further dropped points would end those hopes.

Dieter Hecking is likely to give the line-up which began on Thursday a chance to redeem itself. Two impressive assists in last week's victory over Hamburger SV should ensure Bas Dost (r.) keeps his place up front, despite a four-game scoring drought in the league and renewed competition from Nicklas Bendtner.

After a booking in last week's draw against SC Freiburg, Marco Höger is suspended, with Dennis Aogo or Kevin-Prince Boateng in line to replace him in holding midfield. Still not match fit after a long-term injury absence, Julian Draxler will be on the bench, although Jefferson Farfan (l.) is expected to feature from the off.

Andre Schürrle's pace and direct running will be crucial to his side's attacking efforts against a stubborn Schalke side. Although Sunday's opponents have only conceded once in three games, a makeshift rearguard and the likely sight of fellow FIFA World Cup winner Benedikt Höwedes at right back could give the winger plenty of joy.

With the Royal Blues having failed to score in the last three games, the young heads in Roberto Di Matteo's squad will be looking to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for inspiration. The 31-year-old Dutchman hasn't found the net in the Bundesliga since the end of November, yet remains his side's second top-scorer with seven goals.

Dieter Hecking (head coach): "We don't have much time to reflect on the defeat [in midweek] and want to get straight back to business in the Bundesliga. Schalke will be disappointed that they probably won't qualify for the Champions League, but we know at the same time that they will want to secure a UEFA Europa League spot."

Roberto Di Matteo (head coach): "The Bundesliga and the Europa League are two completely different competitions and, in fact, Wolfsburg have shown over and over again in the past few weeks what they're made of. We're being welcomed by a very strong side, and it's all about breaking them down."

Although the effects of Thursday's 4-1 defeat to Napoli are yet to become clear, Wolfsburg have only lost once in the Bundesliga this calendar year and are all season domestically. Die Knappen, on the other hand, are in the doldrums, having failed to score in their last three games and are four without a win.

Despite Schalke's current attacking toils, games against Wolfsburg are usually rollercoaster affairs: The sides' 35 encounters to date have produced 96 goals and the Royal-Blues' 3-2 win on Matchday 12 was no different. That was a 12th win over the Wolves, who themselves have ten victories, while there have been 13 draws.

Possible line-ups:

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

FC Schalke 04: Fährmann - Höwedes, Matip, Nastasic, Kolasinac - Neustädter, Aogo - Farfan, Meyer, Sane - Huntelaar

Click here to find your local broadcaster for this match