Darmstadt to stop high-flying Holstein Kiel
Darmstadt’s Peter Niemeyer and Daniel Heuer Fernandes are the only players on their injury list.
Holstein Kiel will have to do without the long-term injured Christopher Lenz and Manuel Janzer while Arne Sicker will miss out again with illness.
Injured/unavailable: Peter Niemeyer (heel), Daniel Heuer Fernandes (finger)
Injured/unavailable: Christopher Lenz (adductor), Manuel Janzer (Achilles), Arne Sicker (infection)
MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN
Darmstadt are coming into this top match with huge pressure on their shoulders, having failed to collect a single point in their last three matches. In these three matches they have scored only three goals but conceded an incredible eight, although their latest defeat was only a 1-0 loss at leaders Dusseldorf. This home game will be a welcome opportunity for the team to get back on track, but it will be important that they claim the three points here if they do not want to lose too much ground on the top.
Holstein Kiel’s positive play has been a surprise. Following their 2-1 success over Bielefeld at home, they are coming off four consecutive wins, scoring 13 goals and conceding five goals in these games. The team remain in second place in the 2. Bundesliga, while they boast the best goal difference at +13 and they have scored at least two goals in ten of their 11 league matches. Marvin Ducksch found the net again against Bielefeld, making it goal number nine for him this season.
Kiel are on a much better run, but unlike Darmstadt, who have a whole week to prepare for this encounter, they had a cup game in midweek and will be tired. The hosts will take advantage of this and I think they will claim victory here.
SECOND PREDICTION: TOTAL GOALS – THREE
Both teams have been involved in plenty of goals recently and their games have produced over three goals on average this season. In fact, two of Holstein Kiel’s last four games have seen exactly three goals while the same can be said about one of Darmstadt’s last three. I expect another match with exactly three goals here.
HEAD TO HEAD
These teams will meet for the first time in the 2. Bundesliga. They last met in the third tier in 2013-14, with Darmstadt winning 2-0 away and Holstein Kiel registering a 3-1 away victory