European spots at stake as Leverkusen host Wolfsburg

Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg, two sides aiming to be flying the Bundesliga flag in Europe next season, meet on Friday night as the top-flight returns from the international break with a bang (kick-off 20:30CET/18:30GMT).

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Hosts Leverkusen come into this one off the back of a three-match unbeaten run - including back-to-back wins against Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart - which has re-ignited their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Fresh from inspiring Mexico in the international break, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez will be looking to end a three-game domestic goal drought and add to his 14 strikes this season.

Watch: Stuttgart 0-2 Leverkusen – match highlights

It is a different story for Wolfsburg coming into this one, though. Dieter Hecking's side have lost at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and drawn with SV Darmstadt 98 in the last two games, results which have left them eighth and six points behind fourth.

Watch: Wolfsburg 1-1 Darmstadt – match highlights


Matchday 11 rewind - Wolfsburg 2-1 Leverkusen

Matchday 28 - match stats

    Leverkusen come into this one off the back of two straight wins - the first time Die Werkself have managed that in 2016.Wolfsburg, however, have only managed to pick up 12 points in ten games since the turn of the year.That said, Wolfsburg have won the last four Bundesliga games against Leverkusen.The Wolves prevailed 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller last season at the BayArena, a game in which Bas Dost scored four goals.This will be the 38th meeting between the two sides in the top flight.This fixture has never ended 0-0.Coaches Dieter Hecking and Roger Schmidt were team-mates at TuS Paderborn-Neuhaus in the 1994/95 season.From 2000 until early 2001, Schmidt was captain of SC Verl - a side coached by Hecking.Wolfsburg's Andre Schürrle made 65 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen between 2011 and 2013, scoring 18 goals and creating a further 13.Back in full training, summer signing and Chile international Charles Aranguiz could make his Bundesliga debut for Leverkusen.

Possible line-ups

Leverkusen:Leno - Henrichs, Tah, Jedvaj, Wendell - Calhanoglu, Kramer - Bellarabi, Brandt - Kießling, Hernandez

Absentees: Kruse (ligament strain), Boenisch, Toprak (both thigh), Papadopoulos (calf), Hilbert (collar bone), Kampl (broken leg)

Wolfsburg: Casteels - Träsch, Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez - Guilavogui, Luiz Gustavo - Vieirinha, Arnold, Draxler - Schürrle

Absentees: Naldo (shoulder), Jung (knee), Träsch, Caligiuri (adductor)

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