DAVID SMITH - Friday, October 16, 2009
Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus have their eyes on an incursion into the league's top three, while Jamil Fearrington and Roskilde need to turn around their recent poor run of results.
SønderjyskE - AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber will have had plenty of time to get over his jetlag after international duty as he and Jeremiah White take the trip with their Aarhus teammates to SønderjyskE on Monday night.
Feilhaber is back in Denmark after a successful trip overseas for World Cup qualifying, having made two substitute appearances for the US as they clinched their spot in South Africa next summer.
His week will surely be overshadowed by the accomplishments of midfield partner Jakob Poulsen, who became an instant Danish hero by netting a 78th minute winner to lead Denmark to a 1-0 victory over archrivals Sweden, and more importantly sealing their own victory of Group A and return to the big stage after missing out in 2006.
The two teammates will face off in mid-November in the stadium they call home for an international friendly match between the two teams announced earlier in the week, but first must turn their views back towards getting Aarhus' domestic season back on track.
The team could definitely make use of the heroics of both players, as their victory over SønderjyskE before the break was only their first after three straight losses, and a repeat performance is needed if they want to stay in close contention for the European spots awaiting the league's top three finishers.
SønderjyskE have also been less than spectacular in recent weeks, only winning once in their last five league contests and only three of their first eleven.
Defenders Mark Howard, Kim Madsen and Ulrik Lindkvist along with midfielder Niels Kristensen are all questionable for coach Erik Rassmussen's squad having recently missed some time with injuries.
The break has allowed SønderjyskE's players to recover from their minor injuries, with the team reporting no absences.
A tight race amongst the league's top seven teams could see fifth-place Aarhus peek into the top three with a win, however must tread carefully as a loss could drop them into the lower half of the standings.
FC Roskilde - Næstved BK
Roskilde's Jamil Fearrington will take up his usual post in the defense as they try to get their first win more than one month, but face a tough task in taking down their currently-hot visitors Næstved.
While having lost their last three straight and have not taken the full points in their last five games, Roskilde have shown some signs of life in the previous two weeks, each time putting a pair of goals on the board and generally difficult for their opponents.
While ultimately coming out on the losing end on both occasions they will take some encouragement from the performances and hope to produce a similar offensive performance against the league's current fifth-place team.
Næstved had won an impressive five on the trot before finally being stopped last weekend thanks to a late goal from Hvidovre, but still remain one of the league's most dangerous.
Missing from Roskilde's roster due to injury are central defender Mike Mortensen and midfielder Stefan Schmidt. Næstved coach Kim Poulsen has no reported injuries or suspensions afflicting his squad.
Michael Parkhurst will hope to make it off the bench for his first appearance with the FC Nordsjælland first team in nearly one month wen they host league leaders Odense BK on Saturday.
Marcus Tracy is hoping to earn a spot on Aalborg's bench on Sunday when they host still-winless Randers.
Danny Califf has been dropped from the starting lineup by coach Allan Kuhn in Midtjylland's previous few games, and will hope to make the bench for the Wolves when they head east to visit Brøndby on Sunday.