- Köln six points clear of relegation play-off spot in tenth.
- Darmstadt one place and two points behind Billy Goats.
- Both sides can take huge step towards safety with a win.
Köln's stirring comeback win in Mainz last weekend took the Billy Goats six points clear of the relegation zone and to within one win of the fabled 40-point safe house. Victory over Darmstadt would almost certainly be enough to put any lingering relegation concerns to bed, although they will have to overcome a barren run of four straight home defeats first.
Darmstadt were also victorious on Matchday 30, running out 2-0 winners against fellow promoted outfit FC Ingolstadt 04. The Lilies climbed to 11th in the table as a result, but Dirk Schuster will be keen for his side to build on their existing four-point buffer on the bottom three at Köln, with games against Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach still to come.
Matchday 14 rewind: Darmstadt 0-0 Köln
Darmstadt had the better chances at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor, but wasteful finishing meant the Lilies extended their winless run to five matches.
Matchday 31 - match stats
- Köln would reach the 40-point mark with victory, likely ensuring their Bundesliga survival.
- A win for Darmstadt would take them to 38 points. Karlsruher SC are the only team ever to have been relegated with 38 points, when they finished 16th in the 1997/98 campaign.
- Darmstadt's win 2-0 win over FC Ingolstadt last Saturday was their eighth victory this season. The Lilies have never picked up so many wins in a top-flight season.
- The Ingolstadt game was Darmstadt's second win in a row. Schuster's team have never celebrated three consecutive Bundesliga victories.
- Köln's 3-2 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 last Sunday was the first time the Billy Goats had ever overhauled such a two-goal deficit under coach Peter Stöger. The last time Köln came from two goals down to win was in February 2011, when they beat then-champions FC Bayern München 3-2.
- Köln have lost the last four games at their RheinEnergieSTADION. The North Rhine-Westphalia club have not lost five consecutive home games since the 2001/2002 season.
- Darmstadt striker Sandro Wagner has been involved in a goal in each of his last five games (four goals, one assist).
- Only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (12) and SV Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro (11) have scored more goals in the Rückrunde than Wagner (nine).
- Darmstadt are the team against whom Köln have the best record in the Bundesliga, with three wins and two draws from their five top-flight encounters to date.
- Köln only have longer undefeated Bundesliga records against FC Energie Cottbus and Wuppertaler SV. If Köln avoid defeat on Saturday, Darmstadt will draw level with those clubs.
Köln: Horn – Risse, Heintz, Mavraj, Maroh, Hector – Gerhardt, Lehmann – Mladenovic, Zoller, Modeste
Absentees: Bittencourt (suspended)
Coach: Peter Stöger
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Jungwirth, Sulu, Caldirola, Holland - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller, Rausch - Vrancic - Wagner
Absentees: Rajkovic (hamstring), Rosenthal (Achilles), Stroh-Engel (back)
Coach: Dirk Schuster