SV Darmstadt vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Lilies hope their season will finally blossom against favourites BVB

SV Darmstadt vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Lilies hope their season will finally blossom against favourites BVB

The Bundesliga's bottom side face top three contenders Dortmund - will the game be as routine as expected for the visitors or is there a twist in the tale?

Jack McGraghan

The Bundesliga's bottom side Darmstadt face a tough task on Saturday afternoon, as the in-form Borussia Dortmund visit the Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor in the hopes of moving up to third place if Eintracht Frankfurt drop points at Bayer Leverkusen.

Darmstadt dead and buried already?

Unfortunately for Darmstadt fans their side are looking dead and buried already, having been cut seven points adrift of safety which is made an even bigger task given the fact they have only accumulated nine points all season and have lost all but one of their last 11 league matches.

Their lack of firepower up front has seen them score just 12 times in 19 games and at the other end of the field they have shipped a huge 38 goals which is only beaten by the 41 conceded by 15th placed Werder Bremen.

Striker Antonio Čolak is the club's top scorer with three league goals, which is astonishingly a quarter of their total goals so far this season and that stat alone explains why they are rooted to the foot of the table.

The Lilies haven't won in the league since October, and even that came against 10 men Wolfsburg after Jeffrey Bruma was sent off after just 22 minutes resulting in Darmstadt securing a 3-1 win.

More recently however they suffered a 6-1 home defeat to surprise package FC Koln, in a damning indictment of their season. Manager Torsten Frings took over from Norbert Meier just before the turn of the year and will hope to avoid a similar game to their last encounter with Dortmund, which ended in a 6-0 win for Der BVB at Signal Iduna Park.

The Darmstadt faithful haven't had lot to shout about this season.

Dortmund continue to fight for a Champions League place

DFB Pokal quarter-finalists Borussia Dortmund have had some trouble turning draws into wins recently, with four of their last six matches resulting in draws against Mainz, Augsburg, Hoffenheim and Koln although last week's win over RB Leipzig has given their Champions League hopes a boost even if they may not catch the top two.

As ever their main man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been in fine form this season, scoring 17 goals and currently holding the position of top scorer in the Bundesliga two strikes ahead of Robert Lewandowski.

The two sides played out their first ever match against each other last season as Darmstadt secured a precious away point in a 2-2 draw thanks to a 90th minute equaliser from Aytaç Sulu.

However the aforementioned 6-0 Dortmund victory earlier in the season does not bode well for the hosts going into the game, and BVB boss Thomas Tuchel will be looking to exploit their defensive frailties as he did back in September.

Team news

The hosts have two confirmed absentees from their squad tomorrow, with midfielder Denys Oliynyk and striker Felix Platte both out with injuries.

The visitors have a few more injury problems to deal with than their opponents however with Nuri Sahin, Sven Bender and Sebastian Rode all definitely out for tomorrow's match with long-term injuries..

Meanwhile Tuchel stated in his press conference that Marco Reus, Ousmane Dembele, Matthias Ginter, Lukasz Pizsczek and Mario Gotze are all doubtful and wil be assessed closer to the game so they could be involved in the side in some shape or form.

Predicted line-ups

SV Darmstadt (4-2-3-1): Esser; Sirigu, Milosevic, Sulu, Holland; Niemeyer, Gondorf; Sam, Rosenthal, Heller; Čolak.

Borussia Dortmund (4-1-3-2): Burki; Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra; Weigl; Durm, Castro, Guerreiro, Schmelzer; Aubameyang, Reus.