Hamburg have been solid at home but their away day form see’s them lingering of the relegation zone as they match-up with Darmstadt on matchday 30. Darmstadt hung in tough and need stoppage to secure a crucial victory over Schalke at home whilst Hamburg blew a lead to succumb to defeat in the Nord Derby to Werder Bremen. For Hamburg, they only sit one point above the relegation zone and they can ill afford to defeat on matchday 30 whilst for Darmstadt a defeat will see them relegated but a win and favourable results keeps Die Lilien alive.
LAST TIME OUT
Werder Bremen 2-1 Hamburg
The 106th Bundesliga Nord Derby as Hamburg made the journey to their arch rivals Werder Bremen. Hamburg were greeted by a hostile environment as Bremen fans pelted green paint at their team bus. The game began and Werder almost took the lead inside a minute as Christian Matheina was forced to make an outstanding save to deny Max Kruse. Aaron Hunt was playing his first Nord Derby against Werder in Bremen and he wouldn’t haunt his former club when he delivered a pin point cross for Michael Gregoritsch to give Hamburg the lead.
Hamburg almost made it two when Filip Kostić was played through, but Felix Wiedwald made a smart save to deny the Serbian. Werder would then dominate proceedings and before the half time whistle Bremen restored the tie as Fin Bartels cushioned the cross from Santiago Garcia as Max Kruse who had started the move headed in his 9th of the campaign. Hamburg were rarely a threat in the second half and with 15 minutes of normal time remaining, Bremen would take all three points when Max Kruse played in Florian Kainz who beat Christian Mathenia on his near post. The defeat see’s Hamburg sit uncomfortably as they are now only 1 point above the relegation play-off spot.
Darmstadt 2-1 Schalke
Darmstadt entered matchday 29 knowing a win would keep them in the Bundesliga for now but defeat or a draw would see them relegated. In the corresponding fixture Darmstadt scored early before Schalke turned on the style and the script remand the same as Mario Vrančić tapped home Marcel Heller’s cross on 11 minutes to give Die Lilien the lead. Schalke would then dominate proceedings, peppering Michael Esser’s goal at every opportunity but the shot stopper was equal to the task.
The Royal Blues were given a chance to equalise when Aytac Sulu was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Caligiuri. Guido Burgstaller but Michael Esser was able to stick a league out and make the save. The resilient Darmstadt would finally be broken when Dennis Aogo’s cross found Coke to give Schalke a deserved equaliser. Darmstadt would have a great chance to go on and win the game when Thilo Kehrer was given a second yellow 9 minutes from time. With the last kick of the game Darmstadt would steal all three points as Marcel Heller’s chaos ball in was eventually belted home by Jerome Gondorf. Darmstadt are still in the Bundesliga..for now.
After falling in the Nord Derby at the hands of Werder Bremen, Hamburg will be looking to put Darmstadt out of their misery as they face-off on matchday 29. Last time out Markus Gisdol played a false nine with Michael Gregoritsch playing as a lone striker due to the injury to Bobby Wood however it will be interesting to see if he decides to change it up for the game with Darmstadt. If Wood remains out then Gregoritsch is likely to start, Gisdol could also choose to play Pierre-Michel Lasogga who hasn’t started since matchday 6. Kyriakos Papadopoulos is set to return after missing against Nord Derby as he will start along side Mergim Mavraj in defence. One to two changes for Hamburg in their game with Darmstadt.
Darmstadt hold onto the slim hopes of survival as they prepare to take on Hamburg at the Volksparkstadion. Torsten Frings was pleased with his sides performance against Schalke but knows his team will need to be better on the road. Team news is positive for Darmstadt with no additional injuries or suspensions to note and I expect no changes for the side that took all three points last time out.
No place like home
Its no secret how poor Hamburg have been away from the Volksparkstadion this season and once again it saw them face defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Werder Bremen. Hamburg at home this season, they possess a record from 14 games of seven wins, three draws and four defeats with a goal differential of -4 with 18 goals for and 22 goals against. On the road its been a different story for Hamburg. From their 15 games this season, Hamburg have only two wins, with three draws and ten defeats with a goal differential of -21.
Lucky for Hamburg, this week’s opponents in Darmstadt are not only the worst team on the road this season but they are the worst away side in all of the top five leagues. Darmstadt have only scored 6 times whilst conceding 34 times and they have lost all 14 of those games. Hamburg will be hoping they can secure a much needed victory.
Last chance saloon
The equation is very simple for Darmstadt as with five games remaining which includes their game with Hamburg, they must win all five games. Mathematically its possible for Darmstadt to secure survival which would incredible to say the least. However, for that to happen Darmstadt must accumulate 15 points and hope that Mainz, Augsburg and Ingolstadt fail to win or draw any of their remaining five games. This also means Darmstadt have to do something they haven’t done all season which is go on a winning streak whilst taking points away from home. Neither Darmstadt have done but if they are to pull of the impossible they must win at Hamburg on matchday 30.
PREDICTION: Hamburg 2-0 Darmstadt
It’s a relegation six pointer with both sides have it all to play for on matchday 30 at the Volksparkstadion. Hamburg can move temporarily clear of the relegation zone if they can secure a victory which would mean Darmstadt would be relegated. It will be an interesting dynamic to the contest however I feel Hamburg will ultra salty from a derby defeat and will turn up the style as the Bundesliga’s Dinosaur club takes all three points seeing the end of Darmstadt in the top flight.
Can Darmstadt keep their Bundesliga survival chances alive with a win in week 30? Let us know in the comments