Darmstadt return to action on a ten-game unbeaten streak and should be confident of taking that tally to 11 at second-bottom Karlsruher.
The visitors won only one of their opening nine league games, but things have finally clicked under Greek manager Dimitrios Grammozis and they have moved to within nine points of the automatic promotion places.
Four of their last five games have resulted in victory – they have kept clean sheets in three – and their relegation-threatened opponents should be fearing the worst.
While Darmstadt were in flying form prior to the break, the same cannot be said for Karlsruher who have suffered defeat in seven of their last nine league games.
Christian Eichner’s men boast the Bundesliga 2’s worst defence with 46 goals conceded from 25 outings, and no team has registered fewer wins this season than their mediocre tally of five.
Worryingly their home form, which had been keeping them afloat, has also tailed off. Karlsruher have collected only one point in their last five games at the Wildparkstadion and have failed to score in three of those matches – two of which were relegation clashes against 14th-placed Nuremberg and 16th-placed Wehen Wiesbaden.
In recent years this fixture hasn’t been one for the neutrals. These sides have locked horns seven times since 2012 and both teams have netted in only one of those meetings.
It was a 1-1 draw in the return fixture earlier in the season but Darmstadt were going through a transitional period and are in much better shape now.
With only one goal conceded in their last four matches, Darmstadt have tightened up dramatically at the back and they have what it takes to shut out a Karlsruher side who have ultimately struggled in the final third.
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