Bayer 04 Leverkusen will look to continue their impressive run of form in Sunday's Rhineland derby away to 1. FC Köln (kick-off 17:30CEST/15:30GMT).
Die Werkself have surged right back into contention for a top-four finish on the back of a three-match-winning hot streak, most notably dispatching 2014/15 runners-up VfL Wolfsburg last time out.
It makes for a daunting proposition for mid-table stutterers Köln, who have won only two of their 11 Bundesliga assignments since the turn of the year but are seeking to do the double over their near neighbours for the first time in the Bundesliga.
Matchday 12 rewind: Leverkusen 1-2 Köln
Matchday 29 - match stats
- Leverkusen are enjoying their first three-match winning run of the current Bundesliga campaign.Bayer still have to play top-four rivals Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach.Köln still have fixtures to come against three teams below them in the standings: SV Darmstadt 98, FC Augsburg and SV Werder Bremen.Köln have won one and lost four of their five home games so far in the Rückrunde.The Billy Goats' last three matches on home soil have ended in defeat. It is the club's longest losing run in front of their own fans since 2001 (five matches).Köln last finished ahead of Leverkusen in the Bundesliga standings in 1995/96. Since then, the Billy Goats have been relegated five times, while Bayer have qualified for the Champions League on ten occasions.Leverkusen have collected 731 points more than Köln in the Bundesliga since summer 1996 (1,164 to 433).Köln have failed to score in five of their last seven home matches against Leverkusen.
Köln: Horn - Risse, Maroh, Heintz, Hector - Vogt, Lehmann – Zoller, Bittencourt, Gerhardt - Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger
Leverkusen: Leno - Jedvaj, Tah, Ramalho, Wendell - Kramer, Yurchenko - Calhanoglu, Brandt - Bellarabi, Hernandez
Absentees: Kruse (ligament strain), Boenisch, Toprak (both thigh), Papadopoulos (calf), Hilbert (collar bone), Kampl (broken leg)
Coach: Roger Schmidt