Ingolstadt are aiming to keep up their improbable survival bid when relegation rivals Darmstadt come calling in Matchday 28's conclusion on Sunday evening (kick-off: 17:30CEST/15:30GMT).
The hosts have been dealt a blow in the build-up to this crunch clash, however, with the news that Florent Hadergjonaj will miss out through suspension. The wing-back joins Tobias Levels and Moritz Hartmann on the sidelines.
Although they boast no fresh injury concerns, Darmstadt already appear to be preparing for life back in the second tier after a run of three defeats without scoring a goal. The Lilies are yet to pick up so much as a point on the road this season.
Ingolstadt:Hansen – Matip, Roger, Bregerie – Tisserand, Groß, Cohen, Suttner – Leckie, Lezcano, Kittel
Coach: Maik Walpurgis
Absentees: Hartmann (thigh), Hadergjonaj (suspended), Levels (disciplined)
Darmstadt:Esser – Steinhöfer, Höhn, Sulu, Holland – Altintop, Kamavuaka – Sirigu, Vrancic, Platte - Colak
Coach: Torsten Frings
Absentees: Niemeyer (Achilles tendon), Oliinyk (match fitness)
- Even with a defeat in Ingolstadt, Darmstadt would still mathematically have a chance of staying up.Both teams were promoted together in 2015 and were tipped to go straight back down last season, but upset the odds by earning a second top-flight season.Both could now go down together, having been placed 17th and 18th since Matchday 19.Facts confirm that the first season after promotion is actually harder than the second: 39 percent of promoted teams went straight back down again with only 24 percent going down the following year.Darmstadt have been competitive at home, but not on their travels, where they have yet to pick up a single point yet this season.Only Oberhausen (1973) and Nürnberg (1984) also had no points away from home at this stage of the season, although Oberhausen did manage to pick up one point on the final day of the season.Walpurgis took his seat on the Ingolstadt bench for the first time in the reverse fixture in Darmstadt, celebrating with a 1-0 win – Ingolstadt's first of the season.Ingolstadt have now played once against all 17 Bundesliga rivals and the results over those 17 games would put them in mid-table right now.Hartmann scored the winner on Matchday 11 but that remains his only goal of the season. Last year, he was Ingolstadt's top-scorer with 12, but he has been out injured since December.