Germany: Bundesliga
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N. Dovedan (90)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Darmstadt vs. Heidenheim preview: Die Lilien at risk of relegation

Darmstadt’s place in the Bundesliga will be at stake when they play host to Heidenheim on Sunday.


The hosts kept their slim survival hopes alive with an away victory over relegation rivals Köln last weekend.  Christoph Klarer and Oscar Vilhelmsson grabbed a goal apiece to seal a 2-0 victory and Darmstadt’s 22-game winless league run. Despite claiming maximum points against  Köln, Darmstadt requires a miracle if they are to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.

Having mustered 17 points from 30 matches, Darmstadt are languishing at the foot of the table with 10 points separating them from Mainz in the relegation playoff spot. They are also 12 points adrift of 15th-placed Union, who boast a significant goal difference advantage with four matches left to play.

As a result of their precarious position, die Lilien will be relegated if they lose to Hoffenheim on Sunday. However, even a win may not be enough if results elsewhere go against them.

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Darmstadt are unable to call upon Fabian Holland, Alexander Brunst, Fraser Hornby, Braydon Manu and Clemens Riedel. Meanwhile, there are doubts surrounding the availability of Klaus Gjasula and Julian Justvan.


Heidenheim have found wins hard to come by in recent times, having won just one of their previous nine league matches. In their most recent outing against RB Leipzig, Frank Schmidt’s side appeared to be heading towards a draw after Nikola Dovedan cancelled out Benjamin Šeško’s opener. However, Loïs Openda went on to score an 85th-minute winner to condemn Heidenheim to a narrow 2-1 home defeat.

Having picked up 34 points from 30 matches, Heidenheim are sitting in 11th place with a seven-point buffer to the bottom three. They will look to add to their points tally on Sunday as they go in search of their first away win since beating Werder Bremen on February 10.

Sunday’s visitors emerged victorious in December’s reverse fixture, fighting back from 2-1 down to collect a 3-2 victory. However, they have failed to win their last four away games since winning 2-1 in February 2019.

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They are also without the services of Lennard Maloney, Marnon Busch, Thomas Keller, Elidon Qenaj and Adrian Beck. As for Omar Traoré, he will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

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