Hamburger SV vs Darmstadt
Hamburger SV had every chance to walk away with something last weekend when the team visited Werder Bremen on Sunday evening and even though they took the lead in sixth minute with a goal from Gregoritsch, the side stood defeated with narrow 2:1 result. Their hosts were more concrete and managed to level up the result in 41st via Kruse.
Second halftime was quite equal, but once again players of Werder were more concrete and risked more when needed, getting the victory with a goal from Kainz in 75th minute, even though the final result could have been different on some other day. With this defeat, the team failed to get some distance in points in comparison to relegating worried Augsburg sitting now just a point above the team placed at play-out position.
Hosts will be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Wood as central striker, plus Kostic, Holtby and Hunt as offensive midfielders. Central defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos returns back from suspension here, while the hosts can't count at injured goalkeeper Rene Adler (19/0), offensive Nicolai Muller (24/5) and central midfielder Albin Ekdal (20/1). Central defender Johan Djourou (14/0) is doubtful but should be fine before the game.
After a run of four consecutive defeats, players of Darmstadt managed to improve last Sunday evening and take a bit unexpected three pointer in front of own fans against Schalke with a narrow 2:1 victory. They opened the game well and took the lead in eleventh minute via Vrancic.
However, visitors replied with better performances and improvement, being more dominant side and leveling up the result in 72nd minute via Coke, while they missed some great chances including even a penalty kick earlier. However, hosts played well in the defense and managed to take advantage once Schalke stood playing with a man less in 81st minute when Kehrer got excluded, with Gondorf sealing the three pointer in third minute of additional time in a bit lucky way. Despite a victory, Darmstadt remains at the rock bottom position, having fourteen points less than play-out placed Augsburg and actually without a chance to stay in Bundesliga.
Visitors are set to play in 4-2-3-1 formation as well, using Schipplock as their central striker and number nine, while Sam, Vrancic and Heller will be playing as offensive midfielders. Offensive Sidney Sam returns from injury and should be ready to start, otherwise their manager Torsten Frings won't be making any changes for this one. Central defender and sometimes midfielder, Peter Niemeyer (15/0) is injured.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Hamburg's last 4 games (Bundesliga).
Even though Darmstadt impressed in the previous round against Schalke that was influenced with busy schedule, I don't see them staying very competitive in this one. The team looks like sure participants of second tier of German football for the next season and overall, more individually quality Hamburg should take advantage over them and celebrate an easy victory in their relegation battle this time.