Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Schalke 04 meet this Sunday (kick-off 17:30CET/16:30GMT) in the headline act of Matchday 14, with both teams desperate to give their UEFA Champions League qualification hopes a boost.

bundesliga.com has the guide to Sunday's BayArena showdown...

Top four in sight

© gettyimages / Dennis Grombkowski

Both clubs have failed to hit top gear so far this season and the two come into the game , a hefty nine points behind second place and a whopping 17 behind league leaders FC Bayern München. Nevertheless, the top four and the final UEFA Champions League place remains in reach. Victory for one of these sides could see them move above current fourth-place occupants Hertha Berlin, who take on Bayern at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Clinical Chicharito

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Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez's is proving on a weekly basis how seamlessly he is settling into life in the Bundesliga. The Mexico international forward became his country's all-time leading scorer in the Bundesliga with last weekend's double in the 3-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, and he has now struck five times in his last four league games for Leverkusen. Will the Royal Blues be able to keep the 'Little Pea' at bay?

Papa's return

Kyriakos Papadopoulos scored three goals in 61 Bundesliga games for Schalke between 2010 and 2014 when he joined Leverkusen on loan. The Greece international has since made his switch to the BayArena a permanent one, and coach Roger Schmidt may be tempted to bring the centre-back into his defence upon his return from suspension. In two matches for Leverkusen against Schalke, Papadopoulos has contributed to a brace of Die Werkself wins.

Sorry about Sane?

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Had things gone differently, Leroy Sane might have been lining up for Leverkusen. The freshly-capped Germany international was part of the Bayer youth academy for three years, but the 120km round-trip from his Wattenscheid home on the region's notoriously congested motorways proved too much for Sane and his family. He sought an option closer to home, and Gelsenkirchen - just 10km away - proved the ideal solution.

Kießling milestone

© gettyimages / Koepsel

Only Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has played more times (339 games) for the same club in the top flight than Stefan Kießling, who is in line to make his 300th league appearance for Leverkusen. The 31-year-old striker joined Die Werkself from 1. FC Nürnberg in summer 2006, scoring 123 times and laying on 51 goals for team-mates in his 299 Bundesliga games since.

Check out more about Chicharito on this dedicated site

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