Darmstadt will attempt to end their 10-game winless league run when they play host to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
After finishing 2023 with a poor run of form, Darmstadt experienced more disappointment in their first outing of the new year, falling to a heavy 3-0 defeat in their home meeting with Borussia Dortmund.
At the halfway stage of the season, Darmstadt are propping up the Bundesliga with four points separating them from safety. Torsten Lieberknecht will be aware that his team needs to improve defensively if they are to have any hope of avoiding relegation. The basement side have shipped 44 goals in their 17 league games to leave them with the worst defensive record in the division.
Die Lilien have also struggled at the opposite end of the pitch in their recent home matches. Since scoring in a 2-1 defeat to Bochum in November, Saturday’s hosts have gone four consecutive home games without troubling the scorers. A lack of cutting edge has ultimately contributed to Darmstadt picking up just one win from their nine home league games this season (D2, L6).
Darmstadt are unable to call upon Marvin Mehlem, Fraser Hornby, Aaron Seydel and Braydon Manu. Meanwhile, midfielder Mathias Honsak is a doubt due to illness.
In contrast to their hosts, Frankfurt began 2024 with a successful outing against RB Leipzig. Ansgar Knauff’s seventh-minute effort proved enough to guide die Alder to a narrow 1-0 victory, bringing an end to their three-game winless away run in the league.
Having now won three of their last four league games, Frankfurt are currently sitting in sixth place and six points adrift of the top four. They will now turn their attention to Saturday’s contest, where they will have the chance to record a league double after recording a narrow 1-0 victory over Darmstadt in August’s reverse fixture.
Although they have won each of their last three head-to-head games, each of those matches took place at Deutsche Bank Park. As a result, Frankfurt are set to make their first trip to Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor for the first time since losing 1-0 in their last away meeting in September 2016.
Sebastian Rode is closing in on a return from injury, but Saturday’s contest is expected to come too soon for the 33-year-old. Jens Grahl and Sasa Kalajdzic are doubt doubts, while Farès Chaïbi, Omar Marmoush and Ellyes Skhiri and away on international duty.