Paderborn - Out-of-form VfL Wolfsburg are aiming to tighten their grip on second spot when they travel to the Benteler Arena on Sunday to face SC Paderborn 07, for whom every point is crucial in the bid for top-flight survival (kick-off 15:30 CEST/13:30 GMT). previews the match-up in East Westphalia...

The three points on offer could prove crucial at both ends of the standings. After a poor recent run, Dieter Hecking's side are looking to maintain their hold on second place and an automatic UEFA Champions League qualifying slot. SC Freiburg's draw on Friday night, meanwhile, means Paderborn could move back to safety with a point.

Paderborn's form in the past few weeks has been impressive given the injury absences of attacking duo Marvin Ducksch and Alban Meha. Indeed, as if Sunday's task wasn't tricky enough without their continued unavailability, Srdjan Lakic is doubtful with flu, while Moritz Stoppelkamp (r.) has a minor knee problem.

Although the attacking midfielder isn't expected to start, Aaron Hunt's return to training this week means that Dieter Hecking has almost a full squad from which to choose. The Wolves' only doubt for the trip to East Westphalia is Portuguese utility man, Vieirinha (l.), who has been unable to train this week with muscular problems.

Lukas Rupp netted his maiden Bundesliga brace in Paderborn's 2-1 comeback win in Freiburg last time out. The holding midfielder's tireless running, strength in the tackle and unflustered ball retention have been underrated qualities in his side's bid to beat the drop this season, and could prove crucial in stifling Wolfsburg's key player...

...who, this campaign, has undeniably been Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian international has an astounding 19 assists to his name, only one behind the top-flight record set by Zvjezdan Misimovic in the 2008/09 season. His early battle with Rupp in the centre of the park could set the tone for the entire encounter.

Andre Breitenreiter (head coach): "We want to pick up where we left off on home turf. You can see a real fire in my players again, although Wolfsburg are the favourites because of their overwhelming individual quality."

Dieter Hecking (head coach): "We have to concentrate on ourselves. We can't play like we did in the last 15 minutes against Hannover 96. Many people are surprised that Paderborn are still in contention to stay up at this stage, but they don't hide. They also know how to play football, particularly out wide and from set-pieces."

With seven points from their last four, Breitenreiter's troops are one of the league's in-form sides and on the verge of succeeding in a sensational survival bid. For their part, Wolfsburg, who threw away a two-goal lead against Hannover last time out, are three without victory; the poorest run of an otherwise imperious campaign.

These sides have only ever met once, an encounter which ended in a 1-1 draw on Matchday 15. The Wolves were dominant throughout, taking an early lead after Rafa Lopez put into his own net, but Lukas Kruse saved Ivan Perisic's (l.) spot-kick before Alban Meha equalised with a penalty of his own in the second half.

Possible line-ups:

SC Paderborn 07:
Kruse - Heinloth, Rafa Lopez, Hünemeier, Brückner - Rupp - Wemmer, Bakalorz, Vrancic, Stoppelkamp - Lakic

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

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