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  • Preview: SV Darmstadt 98 vs. Werder Bremen - Bundesliga 2024 Match Insights
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  • 21 February 2024

Preview: SV Darmstadt 98 vs. Werder Bremen - Bundesliga 2024 Match Insights

When SV Darmstadt 98 hosts Werder Bremen on Sunday, they'll be itching to win their first league match since joining the Bundesliga.

The visitors, on the other hand, have made it through their first season back in the top level, winning two and losing three of their first five games.

Match preview

It is clear from the early going that Torsten Lieberknecht's team will have a difficult challenge ahead of them if they expect to avoid relegation this season. Darmstadt would not have been under any illusions about that.

Before a ball was kicked this weekend, their only point from five games was a 3-3 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach, where they blew a three-goal lead after Matej Maglica was dismissed in the 49th minute. Losses to Eintracht Frankfurt, Union Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen, and Stuttgart meant that only goals scored kept them off the bottom of the table.

In their most recent meeting at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Darmstadt actually grabbed the lead thanks to an own goal by Dan-Axel Zagadou. However, Stuttgart swiftly levelled the score five minutes later through a goal by Enzo Millot, and another brace by Serhou Guirassy meant the visitors were defeated once more.

Due to this, Lieberknecht and his team have a lot riding on them to win at Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor on Sunday; otherwise, their first season in Germany's top division in six years may end abruptly.

Werder Bremen proved the previous season that it is very much feasible to stay in the Bundesliga after being promoted, although they were undoubtedly starting from a far higher position than their upcoming rivals.

While their 2021-22 season was their first to finish in the lower division since 1980, Ole Werner's ability to help his players quickly acclimatise to the top flight is still impressive. His team never looked in real danger, even though they ended the season just three points above the bottom three.

In order to give themselves as much breathing room as possible, the 35-year-old will be hoping to see his team get off to another quick start. Six points from five games is a respectable return in that regard, with FC Koln and Mainz 05, two struggling teams, both easily defeated at Weserstadion throughout September.

Die Werderaner still have a lot of firepower, especially in Marvin Ducksch, and they will be hoping that can help them record another victory this weekend against possible relegation rivals despite losing star striker Niclas Fullkrug to Borussia Dortmund at the end of last month.

Team News

  • After serving his one-match punishment against Stuttgart, Maglica is expected to rejoin the hosts' back three, with former Norwich City center-back Christoph Zimmermann still out due to a back ailment.
  • Due to a thigh problem, Fabio Torsiello is out, and Fraser Hornby, Oscar Vilhelmsson, Braydon Manu, and Fabian Nurnberger are all questionable.
  • Due to an abdominal ailment, Werder Bremen's captain Marco Friedl is expected to miss the match. Following their recent victory against Koln, Werner is also not expected to alter his winning starting lineup.
  • In that game, Rafael Santos Borre, who joined on loan from Frankfurt to replace Fullkrug on transfer deadline day, made his club debut, starting as well as repaying his new manager's trust with his first goal.
  • Schuhen, Klarer, Gjasula, Maglica; Bader, Mehlem, Holland, Karic; Skarke, Honsak; Pfeiffer are the potential starting lineup for SV Darmstadt 98.
  • Possible starting lineup for Werder Bremen: Pavlenka, Pieper, Stark, Veljkovic; Schmid, Weiser, Lynen, Stage, Deman; Borre, Ducksch

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