DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 22, 2011
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will look to build on their strong midweek performance as they push towards the Champions League while Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will try to distance themselves from the drop zone.
Randers FC - Brøndby IF
After netting the team's winning goal while wearing the captain's armband in their midweek win, Clarence Goodson will do his best to guide Brøndby to a second straight win when they visit struggling Randers.
Goodson headed in the first of his team's three goals in Brøndby's shut-out win over Esbjerg, and hope that the team can keep moving forward towards their goal of second place.
They are currently just two points behind Odense in the fight to reach the Champions League, and will have more than slim hopes of overtaking their competitors, who have struggled in recent weeks.
The other piece of the puzzle for Brøndby is to continue winning their own games, which they will feel relatively confident of doing against a Randers team which has gradually worked their way into a relegation fight.
They have now gone five straight without a win, and are tied for the fewest overall victories in the league with just five to their name after 26 games played.
They will almost certainly still be left with the sting of Wednesday's 4-1 loss to previously-last place Aalborg fresh on their minds, and need to get something out of Monday's game lest they find themselves down in the drop zone after the round of play has completed.
Brøndby are still without starting midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli as he serves the second of his two-game suspension for abusive language towards a referee.
They also have a number of players out with injury, with forward Ousman Jallow and midfielder Jens Stryger Larsen both suffering from groin problems, forward Martin Bernburg still several weeks away from resuming full training and defender Mikkel Bischoff sidelined.
Randers are reporting no injuries or suspensions for the game.
Viborg FF - Naestved BK
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will try to further distance themselves from the drop zone on Monday evening when they host Naestved BK.
The Greens will have to feel somewhat fortunate to have come away from their midweek game at Fyn with all three points. While they dominated for the vast majority of the proceedings, a late penalty save by their backup keeper Kristian Kirk was the difference between the win and what would have been a highly disappointing draw.
Regardless of the circumstances, the boost to the team from pulling free from the bottom three will undoubtedly carry over to their match-up against Naestved, who they could overtake in the standings should they muster a second straight victory.
Ogunbiyi and his teammates are currently one point free of the drop zone, sandwiched between Kolding just below and Naestved directly above, with small one-point gap to each.
Their visitors have come crashing back down to earth over the last two games, losing both after rattling off a run of four straight wins directly before. They will need to avoid a third straight or they could find themselves in a very compromising position stuck in the bottom three.
While they are free from injuries, Viborg will be without Sune Kiilerich after the young defender was sent off in their previous game.
Naestved will likely be missing defender Mads Vilguysen and Gürkan Koyuncu, both of whom missed their midweek game with injuries.
Chris Rolfe will hope to find his way back on the field after several games of watching from the bench when Aalborg visit Nordsjaelland on Sunday. Michael Parkhurst is still out with a leg injury for the hosts, while Aalborg forward Marcus Tracy is absent for the remainder of the season with knee problems.
Euan Holden will hope to make his debut in Hjørring's back line on Monday when they host Skive.