DAVID SMITH - Friday, March 22, 2013
The Danish second-tier returns to action after the long winter break, with winter signings Babajide Ogunbiyi and RJ Allen both looking to debut with their new teams.
Skive IK - AB Copenhagen
RJ Allen is likely to earn the start in Skive's defense on Saturday when they open the spring with a crucial six-pointer against fellow relegation battlers AB Copenhagen.
Allen was one of two American-born players to reinforce Skive during the winter break, joining now-Salvadorian international Dustin Corea on the team as they try to secure their survival in the division.
They finished the fall on a tough run of just two wins over ten games, and enter the spring with a three-point cushion keeping them out of the relegation zone.
In addition to Allen and Corea, the other big addition was promising Danish youth international midfielder Mads Pedersen, who joined on a six-month loan from Midtjylland.
Their opponents, AB Copenhagen, are enduring a tough season where their paltry average of less than one goal per game as left them looking likely to drop down to the 2. Division.
In an attempt to avert disaster, the team completely blew up their roster in the break, dropping nine players and adding six new faces. The most notable of these is keeper David Jensen, a current Danish youth international who joined from Nordsjaelland on loan until the end of the season.
Neither team is reporting any injuries or suspensions.
Viborg FF - FC Hjørring
After a confusing series of last-minute cancellations and rescheduling, Babajide Ogunbiyi will have the opportunity to debut for his new team FC Hjørring against his former employers Viborg when the teams meet on Sunday afternoon.
Hjørring had originally been scheduled to begin the spring with a trip to the capitol to face Køge on Sunday, however poor field conditions due to continued snowfall led to an early cancellation.
Similarly, Viborg had expected to host Vejle in their spring opener, but that game was called off - under much protest on the part of the hosts - since Vejle had unexpectedly lost two players from their roster due to call-ups to a Danish youth friendly.
Since Viborg and Hjørring were schedule to meet on Thursday of next week, the two teams convinced league officials to allow that game to be moved forward to Sunday instead.
Beyond the scheduling chaos, the teams come into Sunday's game on very different ends of the spectrum.
Viborg are just one point off the second promotion spot in the league while Hjørring are in the thick of the four-teams battling it out to avoid a drop into the relegation places.
Hjørring made fixing their defense - the division's second most leakiest through the fall schedule - a priority in the break. Ogunbiyi had already proven to be one of the top defenders in the division during his previous stay at Viborg, and the addition of defensive midfielder Maxime Annys, a veteran of the top two divisions in Belgium will go a long way to stop the leaks.
They will be tested immediately, as Viborg sport the league's runaway top scorer in Thomas Dalgaard, who has put away 18 goals so far through the first 19 games of the season.
Neither team has any players suspended and both have the full complement of players available.