Paderborn - Having been two points behind struggling SC Paderborn at the start of the year, SV Werder Bremen are now eyeing UEFA Europa League qualification when the sides meet on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 15:30 CEST / 13:30 GMT). shines the spotlight on a fixture that could have huge implications at both ends of the Bundesliga table...

Survival is on the line for the hosts, who are in 16th place and just two points off the bottom. A win is no less vital for Bremen, whose superb run of form in 2015 has lifted them within reach of the European places. Victory is a must to close the four-point gap on sixth-placed FC Augsburg.

The hosts will again be deprived of the dead-ball expertise of midfielder , who has an elbow injury. Thomas Bertels, Jens Wemmer (both fitness) and Marvin Ducksch (foot) are also sidelined.

Bremen's rearguard must make do without Yannik Vestergaard, Santiago Garcia (both knee) and Alejandro Galvez (knock), while Fin Bartels' foot complaint means he will play no part either. Striker Melvyn Lorenzen is also not yet fit.

With just 25 goals scored this season, Paderborn have the second-weakest attack in the Bundesliga. With that in mind, they will be hoping striker continues his remarkable run against Bremen: the Croatian has netted four times in his six matches against them so far.

The visitors will view this game as one of their more winnable remaining fixtures in a tight race for Europe. Top scorer will therefore be crucial to their plans as the Argentinian frontman has struck 13 goals so far this season, including three in the last six games.

Andre Breitenreiter, head coach: "Bremen caused us a lot of problems when we played them in the first half of the season and their midfield diamond is very flexible. We'll need to find a way to combat that as we gave them too much space in that game. We'll need to be disciplined and alert from the off."

Viktor Skripnik, head coach: "Paderborn will throw everything they've got at us. They'll be an awkward opponent and it'll be a difficult game - it'll be tough for both teams. Obviously we want to win all three points and defend our position in the table."

Paderborn are one of the league's most off-colour sides, having taken just four points from their last five games. SCP did beat Augsburg 2-1 a fortnight ago, but were outclassed by Dortmund last week. Seventh-placed Bremen are extremely resilient under Skripnik and are at their highest position in the table since Matchday 1.

The only time these two sides have met came on Matchday 13 this season, when Bremen eased to a 4-0 home victory.

Possible line-ups:

Paderborn: Kruse - Heinloth, Rafa Lopez, Hünemeier, Hartherz - Koc, Bakalorz, Vrancic, Ouali - Kachunga, Lakic

Bremen: Casteels - Gebre Selassie, Lukimya, Galvez, Prödl - Bargfrede, Fritz, Junuzovic, Öztunali - Selke, Di Santo

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