With der Klassiker looming, Borussia Dortmund will be intent on keeping pace at the top by picking up three points against relegation-threatened SV Darmstadt 98 on Wednesday (kick-off 20:00CET/19:00GMT).
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"If you're leading away from home after 88 minutes you should win," was captain Aytac Sulu's assessment of what proved to be a frustrating afternoon for Darmstadt against SV Werder Bremen last time out. Claudio Pizarro grabbed a last-minute equaliser, securing a share of the spoils for Viktor Skripnik's side and leaving the Lilies just four points off the bottom three and in desperate need of another win.
Dortmund have their sights set on remaining in a position to capitalise on any mistakes made by league leaders FC Bayern München. Still eight points off the Bundesliga summit, BVB will be keen to improve upon their performance against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, which lacked any cutting edge until the visitors' Sebastian Rudy was sent off in the second half.
Matchday 24 - match stats
- Dortmund are having a sensational season. No second-placed team has picked up as many points after 23 games as BVB have this term (54 from a possible 69).The 2-2 draw against Darmstadt earlier this season is the only time Dortmund have dropped points on home soil this season.Darmstadt currently have 25 points to their name. In their previous two Bundesliga campaigns they never collected more than 28 points (calculated using the three-point rule), meaning a win on Wednesday could see them equal their record points tally from the 1978/79 campaign.Only Hannover 96 (2W 0D 9L) have a worse home record than Darmstadt (1W 4D 6L) this season.The Lilies are without a home win in seven games - only Bremen have gone longer without a win in front of their own fans. Darmstadt have most recently suffered three straight defeats at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor – four in a row would represent an unwanted club record in the Bundesliga.Sandro Wagner has scored in his last three consecutive Bundesliga appearances. His nine-goal tally represents a personal single-season best as a professional footballer.
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Jungwirth, Sulu, Rajkovic, Caldirola - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller, Rausch - Rosenthal - Wagner
Absentees: Garics (knee)
Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, S. Bender, Hummels, Durm - Ginter - Gündogan, Sahin - Mkhitaryan, Reus - Aubameyang
Absentees: Sokratis (adductor)