Darmstadt go into this fixture knowing their Bundesliga livelihood is on the line when they face a Schalke side pushing for the European places on Sunday afternoon (kick-off: 17:30CEST/15:30GMT).
The good news for the hosts this week was that Jerome Gondorf returned to training following an ankle injury, while Sidney Sam, Terrence Boyd and Mario Vrancic are all expected to be fit in time to play. Anotonio Colak is suspended, however.
Schalke boss Markus Weinzierl has rather more considerable personnel issues to deal with given the current length of the injury list. Daniel Caligiuri is expected to replace the injured Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the line-up, while Holger Badstuber should slot into defence in place of the suspended Matija Nastasic. Dennis Aogo is fit again and is expected to be named among the substitutes.
Darmstadt: Esser - Sirigu, Banggaard, Sulu (c), Holland - Hamit Altintop, Kamavuaka - Gondorf, Vrancic, Heller - Platte
Coach: Torsten Frings
Absentees: Colak (suspended), Niemeyer (Achilles)
Schalke: Fährmann (c) - Coke, Kehrer, Badstuber, Aogo - Goretzka, Geis - Caligiuri, Meyer, Avdijaj - Burgstaller
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Absentees: Baba (cruciate ligament), Naldo (pelvis), Nastasic (suspended), Uchida (fitness), Choupo-Moting (knee), Embolo (fitness)
Watch: Highlights of Schalke's 4-1 thumping of Wolfsburg last weekend
- If results go against Darmstadt, they will be officially relegated on Sunday.Schalke are just four points behind sixth place – the dream of another European campaign is not over yet.The Lilies have the worst record of any team since the introduction of the three-points-for-a-win rule (15 points, -37 goal difference).The Royal Blues have more points from their 12 Bundesliga matches in 2017 (19) than in the 16 before the winter break (18).Darmstadt have lost 21 of their 28 matches this season. Only Tasmania Berlin in 1965/66 have suffered more at the same stage of a campaign (24).The Lilies are without a win against Schalke in eight competitive meetings.Darmstadt have just one point from five Bundesliga matches against Schalke.