Leverkusen - Bayer 04 Leverkusen are out to bounce back to winning ways when they play host to unbeaten newly-promoted outfit SV Darmstadt 98, a side they've never lost against in Germany's top flight.

Die Werkself's perfect start to the season came undone in spectacular fashion before the winter break as a 3-0 humbling at the hands of FC Bayern München put Roger Schmidt's side firmly in their place. Three points will be seen as a must for the hosts, but are by no means a forgone conclusion against Darmstadt, who set a new club record by going their first three games of the season without defeat, albeit by sharing the spoils on all three occasions. bundesliga.com has the pre-match skinny ahead of the clash at the BayArena.

History

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Top facts

  • Bayer 04's 3-0 defeat to FC Bayern was the biggest losing margin Leverkusen have suffered in a competitive fixture under Roger Schmidt.
  • Since the dramatic 5-4 loss to VfL Wolfsburg on 14 Feburary, Leverkusen have conceded just once in 11 competitive homes games.
  • Darmstadt went the entirety of the 2014/15 Bundesliga 2 campaign without ever conceding more than twice on foreign soil. They managed to stretch that run against Schalke (1-1 draw), but can they do the same against Bayer 04?
  • Die Lilien are set to face teams competing in European competition in five of their next seven lead encounters (Leverkusen, FC Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, FC Augsburg and VfL Wolfsburg).
  • Stefan Kießling has scored against 16 of the 18 sides currently in the Bundesliga. He's yet to score against either of the newly-promoted sides, FC Ingolstadt 04 or Darmstadt.
  • This weekend's encounter is a clash between the youngest side and the oldest. The average age of Leverkusen' starting line-up this season has been 24.5 years old, while Darmstadt's has been 27.7 years old.

Team news

Leverkusen

Possible line-up: Leno - Hilbert, Tah, Papadopoulos, Wendell - Kramer, L. Bender - Bellarabi, Calhanoglu - Kießling, Mehmedi

Absentees: Jedvaj (light training), Toprak (light training), Aranguiz (achilles)

Darmstadt

Possible line-up: Mathenia - Garics, Sulu, Caldirola, Holland - Gondorf, Niemeyer - Heller, Rausch - Vrancic - Stroh-Engel

Absentees: Stark (ankle)