DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 16, 2010
Chris Rolfe and Aalborg face a six-pointer against Esbjerg with a possible Europa League spot on the line while Benny Feilhaber will look to help Aarhus out of their slump at Brøndby.
Brøndby IF - AGF Aarhus
With a pair of losses in their last two outings, Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus need a positive result on their visit to Brøndby on Sunday to avoid getting pulled into a relegation scrap for the season's final weeks.
Aarhus' narrow loss at Midtjylland on Wednesday combined with other results around the league left them with a troubling five-point space above the drop zone.
With 11th-place Randers in the midst of a blazing hot streak having not tasted defeat in close to five months, their position in the league has become a precarious one with only a handful of games left, putting added importance on every game left in the schedule.
They will hope that that Brøndby, how will have had only three days of rest since their loss on Thursday to Nordsjælland, are feeling some fatigue and will be vulnerable to their direct style of attack.
The Aarhus defense will have to be on its toes, however, as their starting keeper Steffen Rassmussen will be off the field or several games thanks to a lengthy suspension arising from his red card in Midtjylland.
Defender Anders Kure is returning from suspension, however his fellow back line compatriot Dan Thomassen went out with an ankle injury in the team's midweek loss, and will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks.
In addition, forward Peter Graulund and support striker Davit Devdariani continue to be out with injury as does midfield star Jakob Poulsen.
Brøndby are missing forwards Martin Bernburg and Peter Madsen as well as midfielder Paul Jatta, who are all out injured, with Thomas Rassmussen and Max von Schelbrügge both question marks after missing the midweek game.
Aalborg BK - Esbjerg fB
Chris Rolfe will look to once again start for Aalborg on Monday as they try to solidify their hold on third place when fellow Europa League seekers Esbjerg pay a visit.
Aalborg notched up a huge victory on Wednesday over second-place Odense, which propelled them into third place with a small lead over the pack immediately below.
With Monday's opponents Esbjerg their closest chasers trailing by two points and goal differential, they have a chance to open up a sizable lead on their hold of the last Europa League spot should they extend their current two-game winning streak.
Esbjerg are coming off a 3-2 loss to league leaders Copenhagen during midweek and are generally looking set for a tumble, as they have failed to take points in five of their last seven games.
Aalborg coach Magnus Pehrsson will continue to lack a number of important starters in his attack, with Kjetil Wæhler, Jeppe Curth, Daniel Fredheim Holm, Daniel Christensen and Marcus Tracy are all likely still sidelined, allowing the currently-hot Rolfe to maintain his starting spot.
Additionally, midfielder Rasmus Würtz is suspended after picking up a yellow card in the win over Odense.
Esbjerg are reporting no injuries or suspensions.
Silkeborg IF - FC Nordsjælland
Having been called into action in Nordsjælland's last two games, Michael Parkhurst will hope to once again take the field when the Wild Tigers visit Silkeborg on Sunday.
Parkhurst went the distance in the team's midweeks game - this time in central defense - as Nordsjælland put on a dominant defensive display to shut down Brøndby on Thursday.
They will hope to pile more misery on their hosts Silkeborg, who have lost their last two league games by a combined 7-1 score, and are still surely feeling the sting of being knocked out of the Danish Cup quarterfinals by the Wild Tigers barely a week before.
Coach Morten Wieghorst will most likely continue to be lacking the attacking presence of Sibusiso Zuma due to an ankle injury as well as backup keeper Nenad Novakovic thanks to a shoulder problem. Forward Andreas Laudrup and midfielder Søren Christensen remain question marks after missing the midweek game.
The hosts will be missing forwards Kaimar Saag and Lars Huldgaard Christensen to injury.
FC Roskilde - Viborg FF
Jamil Fearrington and Babajide Ogunbiyi should both get the start in their respective teams' central defense as Roskilde and Viborg square off on Sunday afternoon.
Roskilde have started their spring schedule on a hot streak, going undefeated in their first four games of 2010 to pick up a possible eight of 12 points and move four points clear of the drop zone.
They most recently fought back twice for a point at promotion-hunting Vestsjælland during midweek and will hope to have some energy left for sixth-place Viborg.
Their visitors have also been relatively hot so far in 2010, however a loss over the weekend to Thisted put a major dent in their hopes for promotion to the top flight, as they now have an eight-point gap to close in the season's final 11 games.
Viborg will likely continue to be without forwards Christian Muomaife and Christian Olsen, midfielder Kevin Mensah and defender Simion Bulgaru, all of whom continue to struggle with injury.
Roskilde continue to be without long-term absences Morten Avnskjold, who suffered catastrophic leg injury during last summer's pre-season preparations and forward Tobias Perch-Nielsen, who recently underwent surgery on his meniscus. Midfielder Stefan Schmidt also continues to be out with a knee injury.
Euan Holden has undergone groin surgery and will not take part when Vejle hit the road to take on Skive on Sunday.