The race to join FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund as one of the Bundesliga's representatives in the UEFA Champions League next season passes through the VELTINS-Arena this Saturday (kick-off 18:30CEST/16:30GMT) when FC Schalke 04 welcome Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Champions League beckoning
Fourth-placed Leverkusen have a six-point lead over their hosts, but with four games of the season remaining, plenty can still change in a European scramble which is wide open.
After winning their last five on the spin, Leverkusen can take another huge step towards their stated aim of automatic qualification to the group stage of next season’s UEFA Champions League. Third in the table and with a two-point cushion on fourth-placed Hertha Berlin, Die Werkself hold all the cards, but will be acutely aware that one slip-up could change the complexion of the top four entirely. Should they stumble against seventh-placed Schalke, themselves chasing a European finish, it would blow the race for Champions League football wide open - again.