All you need to know about last season's surprise package, SV Darmstadt 98.

Fun facts

  • Following promotion from Bundesliga 2, Darmstadt upset the odds with a 14th-placed finish, five points clear of automatic relegation.
  • Sandro Wagner scored 14 goals to finish as the Bundesliga's joint-sixth highest scorer.
  • Captain Aytac Sulu was the top-scoring defender across Europe's major leagues, plundering seven from centre-back.

The Lilies surpassed all expectation in 2015/16, following a 33-year absence from the German top flight. © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin

History

After two brief and unsuccessful spells in Germany's top flight in 1978/79 and in 1981/82, many expected newly-promoted Darmstadt to make a swift return to the second tier in 2015/16. However, coach Dirk Schuster forged a team who were difficult to beat, and they did not spend a single matchday inside the relegation places last term.

Darmstadt skipper Aytac Sulu scored seven Bundesliga goals last term. © imago / Jan Huebner

Top scorer Wagner has since left for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, whilst Schuster has left for FC Augsburg, to be replaced by Norbert Meier. However, for a club who were struggling financially in the fourth tier as recently as the 1997/98 campaign, next season remains one of promise for the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor faithful.

Stadium: Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor

Capacity: 19,350