The home side put in a solid display against reigning champions Bayern Munich in their previous league outing. That game ended in a 1-1 draw, with Thomas Muller's own goal pegging back the league leaders.
Leverkusen lost 3-2 at Atlanta Bergamo in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg. They'll host the Serie A side on Thursday in the concluding second leg, so they could opt to rest key players against Koln.
Koln, meanwhile, are winless in their last two league games, losing 1-0 at home to Hoffenheim in their last Bundesliga outing.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Koln Head-to-Head
The two Rhine rivals have squared off 74 times across competitions. The hosts have been the better side and lead 29-18 in wins, while the remaining 27 games have produced draws.
Die Werkself are on a four-game unbeaten run against their southern rivals, winning three in that period. Koln's last win at Leverkusen came in the 2015-16 edition of the Bundesliga.
The reverse fixture in Cologne ended in a 2-2 draw as Anthony Modeste bagged a second-half brace to earn a point for the then hosts.
Bayer Leverkusen form guide (all competitions): L-D-W-L-W
Koln form guide (all competitions): L-D-W-L-W
Bayer Leverkusen vs Koln Team News
Robert Andrich is doubtful because of a knee injury and is not expected to be risked for this game. Patrik Schick is a key absentee and faces another couple of weeks on the sidelines because of a calf injury.
Karim Bellarabi and Andrey Lunev complete the injury list for the home side.
Injured: Andrey Lunev, Patrik Schick.
Doubtful: Robert Andrich, Karim Bellarabi.
The Billy Goats have a clean bill of health for this derby game, and only Mark Uth is unavailable, as he tested positive for COVID-19 recently. Timo Hubers is expected to return to the lineup after recovering from the virus this week.
Unavailable (COVID-19): Mark Uth
Bayer Leverkusen vs Koln Predicted XI
Bayer Leverkusen Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Lukas Hradecky (GK); Jeremie Frimpong, Jonathan Tah, Edmond Tapsoba, Mitchel Bakker; Charles Aranguiz, Exequiel Palacios; Moussa Diaby, Florian Wirtz, Paulinho; Lucas Alario
Koln Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Timo Horn (GK); Benno Schmitz, Luca Kilian, Timo Hubers, Jonas Hector; Salih Ozcan, Ellyes Skhiri; Dejan Ljubicic, Florian Kainz, Jan Thielmann; Anthony Modeste
Bayer Leverkusen vs Koln Prediction
Leverkusen are the joint-second highest goalscorers (also Borussia Dortmund) in the German top flight with 64 goals. However, Schick's absence is expected to hurt them. They are unbeaten at home across competitions since October and are the favourites for this game.
Koln have just two wins away from home in the league this campaign and might struggle here. The Rhine derby has produced some great games over the years. While this game is expected to be closely contested, the hosts should eke out a win on Sunday.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Koln.