Bayer 04 Leverkusen take on SV Darmstadt 98 on Saturday (kick-off: 14:30GMT/15:30CET), looking for the win that could take them back into the top four.
Die Werkself were plagued by inconsistency earlier in the campaign, but travel to the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor unbeaten in their last five - including last weekend's gutsy 0-0 draw at home to defending champions FC Bayern München - and trailing fourth-placed FC Schalke 04 by just a point. That said, any optimism coming into this one is likely to be tempered by a DFB Cup quarter-final defeat to SV Werder Bremen in midweek and the injury to star striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez.
For promoted Darmstadt, meanwhile, it is largely their performances on the road that have kept them out of relegation trouble thus far. The Lilies left TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena with their fifth away victory of the campaign on Matchday 20, but have only won a joint-league-low once on their own patch all season.
Goals: 0-1 Sulu (8')
Darmstadt's captain fantastic Aytac Sulu scored the only goal of the game as Darmstadt served up a contender for shock of the season at the BayArena. It was the newly promoted Lilies' first Bundesliga win since 1982, and on Leverkusen newcomer Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez's Bundesliga debut at that.
Matchday 21 - match facts
- Darmstadt have collected more Rückrunde points (six) than Leverkusen (five).
- Leverkusen can make it six games without defeat for the first time this season with a positive result in Darmstadt.
- Bayer have only conceded once in their last five matches and lost two of their last nine.
- With Ömer Toprak and Jonathan Tah at the heart of the Leverkusen defence in the last eight Bundesliga matches, Die Werkself have only lost once and conceded five.
- Darmstadt face Leverkusen, Bayern and Borussia Dortmund in three of their next four games. They took four points from the three reverse fixtures during the Hinrunde.
- Of Darmstadt's ten home games so far this season, the Lilies have won only one (against SV Werder Bremen).
- Darmstadt have failed to score in their last three home matches in the Bundesliga.
- Sulu is this season's highest-scoring centre-back with five goals, all of which have come away from home.
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Garics, Sulu, Rajkovic, Caldirola - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller, Kempe - Rosenthal - Wagner
Absentees: Rausch (foot), Holland (groin), Ivana (knee)
Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Tah, Toprak, Wendell - Kramer, Kampl - Bellarabi, Calhanoglu, Brandt - Kießling
Absentees: Hilbert (muscle tear), Aranguiz (Achilles tendon), Boenisch (muscle tear), Bender, Kruse (both light training), Hernandez (muscle tear)