- Schalke unbeaten in last six matches.
- Darmstadt lost the last three in a row.
- Home side looking to join chasing pack at the top.
Markus Weinzierl’s side have hit their stride with an unbeaten run of six matches to date that has taken them into midtable and away from the relegation zone. A late winner from Leon Goretzka against VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 11 extended the Royal Blues’ impressive vein of form, and another three points would see them edging near the European places.
Darmstadt’s form has dipped in recent weeks, but they were inches away from taking the lead last time out, only for Änis Ben-Hatira’s free-kick to hit the FC Ingolstadt 04 crossbar. The Tunisian missed from close range later, and Die Lilien came to rue these and other missed chances when slipping to a 1-0 defeat – their third in a row. Their away form has been poor but coach Norbert Meier knows a change in his side’s fortunes will see them move away from the wrong end of the table.
- Schalke are unbeaten in their last six matches (four wins, two draws) and have conceded just two goals in that stretch.
- Darmstadt have lost three in a row for the first time since being promoted the season before last.
- Schalke have not lost to Darmstadt since 1989 (five wins, two draws).
- Darmstadt are the only team in the Bundesliga that has yet to pick up a point on the road this season. Last year, the Lilies earned 26 of their 38 points away from home.
- Sead Kolasinac is among the players whose form has improved along with that of the Royal Blues. The Bosnia Herzegovina international has set up four goals in the past five games and leads Schalke in assists.
- Five of Darmstadt’s 10 goals have been scored by substitutes.