• Frankfurt in third place after Matchday 18.
  • Kovac's side have conceded just 15 goals this term.
  • Darmstadt rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga.

Eintracht Frankfurt will be aiming for three more points to tighten their grip on a place in the Champions League qualifying spots when they host bottom of the table SV Darmstadt 98 on Sunday (kick-of 17:30CET/16:30GMT).

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The Eagles bounced back from defeat to RB Leipzig with victory at FC Schalke 04 on Matchday 18 courtesy of captain Alexander Meier’s strike in the first half. That handed Frankfurt their ninth win of the campaign – as many as they managed in the whole of the 2015/16 season, underlining the superb progress made by Niko Kovac’s side since the Croat took over last March.

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Matchday 18 was one to forget for Darmstadt, who had no answer as a rampant 1.FC Köln eased to a 6-1 win. The Lilies are six points adrift of Hamburger SV at the foot of the table, and the recently-appointed Torsten Frings will be hoping his team can put the Köln performance behind them and summon up the spirit they showed in their goalless draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach the previous week to start reducing that gap.

Alex Meier (right) celebrates his goal that was eventually good enough to hand Frankfurt victory at Schalke on Matchday 18. © gettyimages / Lars Baron

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Match Stats

  • Eintracht have nine wins to their name already, as many as in the entirety of last season.
  • The Eagles have kept eight clean sheets and conceded just 15 goals in 18 matches, which is a club record.
  • Darmstadt have lost nine of their last ten league games, taking just one point from a possible 30.
  • The Lilies are yet to take a single point on the road this term, losing all eight matches.

The Venue - Commerzbank Arena