Preview: SV Darmstadt 98 vs. FC St. Pauli

Dreams will come true at SV Darmstadt’s Stadion am Böllenfalltor on Sunday.

SV Darmstadt is in the hunt for a Bundesliga spot, and can clinch direct promotion for the first time since 1981 if they win.

On the other hand, St. Pauli are fighting for their survival in the 2. Bundesliga, and must win in order to save their season from a heartbreaking relegation.

No matter how Sunday’s match ends, there will probably be huge celebrations in the “City of Science.” The question is: will it be the blue and white home fans who get to celebrate, or the brown and white visitors?

Or both, perhaps?

Fact is, if newly-promoted FC Ingolstadt manage to beat FC Kaiserslautern away and relegation-threatened 1860 Munich takes all three points away to Karlsruher SC, then Darmstadt are promoted however their game ends.

As for St. Pauli, they will then be hoping (if they lose) that FC Heidenheim wins at home against Erzgebirge Aue and that Fortuna Düsseldorf beat FSV Frankfurt. If a scenario like this materializes, then the season will end well for Darmstadt and St. Pauli, and both sets of fans get to party.

In the bigger picture, St. Pauli travel to Darmstadt hoping to take a 4th consecutive victory, after beating RB Leipzig, Kaiserslautern and VfL Bochum in consecutive matchdays. During this successful run, beginning with their home win against Leipzig, St. Pauli’s goal differential is 8-1. Furthermore, St. Pauli have only lost two games since the beginning of April (against Karlsruher and Heidenheim respectively).

These drastic changes in fortunes, however, have not ensured 2. Bundesliga football at the Millerntor-Stadion next season. St. Pauli is still involved in the relegation battle, but travel to Darmstadt in good spirits, according to shot-stopper Robin Himmelman:

“It’s crazy, we win three games in a row and are still not safe,” the 26-year-old is quoted as saying, according to Kicker.

“Our confidence is high after our recent performances.”

The away fans making the way to the Stadion am Böllenfalltor will be hoping that Sebastian Schachten and Philipp Ziereis are fit enough play in this fixture. The duo had their training reduced recently, but took part in portions of St. Pauli’s recent training session, according to St. Pauli’s official website. However, Markus Thorandt, Florian Kringe, Ante Budimir and captain Sören Gonther all look set to miss the encounter.

On the other hand, SV Darmstadt does not have the same injury problems as their brown and white counterparts. According to the club’s official Twitter account, every player took part in training on May 21st – a very pleasant situation for head coach Dirk Schuster, who says that the season will be a success independent of the outcome of Sunday’s encounter.

“We are still in a situation where we can do anything, but we don’t have to. Even if we don’t win, it has been a great season,” he is quoted as telling Kicker.

Darmstadt almost fell out of the 3. Liga back in 2013, only to win the playoffs against Arminia Bielefeld a year later and thus qualify for the 2. Bundesliga. A year later and the club is on the verge of a shock promotion to the Bundesliga.

The Lilies could have sealed this rise last week, but failed away to Greuther Fürth, losing 1-0. If they fall short of gaining promotion twice within one week, it will defiantly be heartbreaking ending for supporters and city as a whole.

Although his comment won’t calm any nerves, Schuster asserts that his side is ready to go far to win on the 34th and final match day.

“We want to try everything to take the three points on Sunday,” he is quoted as telling Kicker.

No matter the outcome, there will probably be big celebrations from either set of supporter sections on Sunday, which might just be the perfect way to bid farewell to the old Stadion am Böllenfalltor, which might be partially demolished this summer to make way for a new arena that will be completely constructed by the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign.

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Linus Vedmar

Linus is a 20-year-old Swede who follows all Bundesliga clubs but have a soft spot for FC St. Pauli. You can follow Linus on Twitter @LinusVedmar.