SV Darmstadt 98 vs. Borussia Dortmund – prediction, team news, lineaups

The struggling SV Darmstadt 98 is gearing up to host Borussia Dortmund at Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor for their first top-flight match of 2024 this Saturday evening.

Darmstadt, currently at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings, hasn’t experienced victory since early October. On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund, despite their strong reputation, has encountered a dry spell by failing to secure a win in their last four league matches. It sets the stage for an interesting clash as both teams seek to turn their fortunes around in the new year.

Darmstadt is facing some key absences for the upcoming match, with Fraser Hornby, Braydon Manu, Marvin Mehlem, and Aaron Seydel all sidelined due to various injuries. Fabian Nurnberger, Christoph Zimmermann, and Mathias Honsak are under assessment for their availability before kickoff.

Captain Fabian Holland, who missed the last two games of 2023 due to illness, is in contention for a starting spot on Saturday. He might partner with Bartol Franjic in the midfield. Tim Skarke, the top scorer for Darmstadt this season with six goals, is expected to lead the attack, supported by Luca Pfeiffer, while Tobias Kempe operates in the number 10 role.

On the Borussia Dortmund side, they continue to miss key players due to injuries, including Karim Adeyemi, Felix Nmecha, and Julian Ryerson. Ramy Bensebaini and Sebastien Haller are away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. Despite these setbacks, Dortmund has secured loan signings of Jadon Sancho and Ian Maatsen from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively. The duo might make their debuts on Saturday, although their inclusion in the starting XI is yet to be confirmed.

Marius Wolf is a doubt for the match due to illness, which could see Thomas Meunier continuing at right-back. Niclas Fullkrug is pushing for a starting role as the central striker, potentially replacing teenager Youssoufa Moukoko. The match promises to be an intriguing battle with both teams dealing with player availability challenges.

SV Darmstadt 98 vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

SV Darmstadt 98 possible starting lineup:
Schuhen; Klarer, Gjasula, Isherwood; Riedel, Franjic, Holland, Karic; Kempe; Pfeiffer, Skarke

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Meunier, Sule, Hummels, Schlotterbeck; Sabitzer, Can, Brandt; Malen, Fullkrug, Bynoe-Gittens