Cologne - In FC Ingolstadt 04 and SV Darmstadt 98, the Bundesliga has gained – for the coming season, at the very least – two intriguing fresh additions. As is so often the case, both clubs find themselves almost by default topping the list of those tipped to be battling tooth and nail against what, in their case, would be an immediate return to Bundesliga 2.
As far as that goes, the duo are taking rather divergent approaches to the upcoming campaign. Long-established Darmstadt are determined, first and foremost, to simply enjoy their unanticipated Bundesliga adventure. Ingolstadt, the new team on the block in every sense, are meanwhile planning diligently for a long-haul stay at German football's top table.
"I've no fear of this team becoming the league's whipping boys. I know we've got a certain amount of quality," Ingolstadt coach Ralph Hasenhüttl said. "Obviously we'll go into virtually every game as the underdogs, but that's actually a good position to be in." The club, formed only in 2004 by the fusion of two other sides in the central Bavarian city, earned their Bundesliga debut in style, winning the Second Division title with something to spare.