DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 29, 2011
Chris Rolfe will try to help Aalborg push clear of the relegation zone once and for all while Euan Holding and Hjørring will look to provide themselves some space above the drop zone against last-place Hvidovre.
Aalborg BK - FC Midtjylland
After netting his first goal of the season in the team's previous game, Chris Rolfe will hope to continue seeing playing time for Aalborg when they host Midtjylland on Saturday.
Rolfe was on-target just past the hour mark in Aalborg's thrilling 3-3 draw with Nordsjaelland, and will look to continue seeing time on the field as the team rests on the brink of safety.
After looking headed straight for the Danish second tier, they have begun to turn things around in recent weeks, and are currently on a four-game unbeaten run that has them under the surface purely by goal differential.
Midtjylland are currently embroiled in battles on two fronts, pushing for the Superligaen's second Champions League spot as well as trying to reach the final of the Danish Cup.
Unfortunately for the Wolves they appear to be losing out on both; their slowdown in league play has left them in fourth place now three points adrift of second place, and they embarrassingly lost the home leg of their Danish Cup semifinal by a 2-1 score to the league's worst place team Esbjerg on Wednesday night.
Aalborg do see the return of defender Kjetil Wæhler and midfielder Patrick Kristensen to the lineup after injury spells, but will still be without forwards Kayke, Henrik Dalsgaard and Marcus Tracy, as well as defender Jakob Ahlmann.
Midtjylland are reporting no new injuries, and could see the return of midfielder Adigun Salami after he returned from a meniscus injury to feature in recent reserve games for the team.
Brøndby IF - AC Horsens
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will hope to push into the Superligaen's top two on Sunday when they host AC Horsens.
Brøndby have been on a roll since the return of their American center-back, having yet to concede a goal with him on the field since his early insertion into game two weeks ago against Aalborg.
They have won their last two contests by a combined 7-0 scoreline, and are likely to cause severe problems for a Horsens team which has failed to impress as of late.
While they did come up winners against relegation candidates Randers in their last outing, it was their first win since early-March, with a stretch of four losses and two draws in the time between.
Brøndby are currently trailing second-place Odense by two points as both teams push for the Champions League, and with Odense hosting last-place Esbjerg, a win is possibly necessary to prevent losing too much ground as the season winds down.
They are fortunate to have a number of players returning to the squad at the perfect timing. Starting midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli is back from a two-game "Rooney suspension" for cursing at a referee, while forward Ousman Jallow and defender Mikkel Bischoff are also back in the fold. Only midfielder Jens Stryger Larsen and forward Martin Bernburg continue to be out with injury.
Horsens are reporting no injuries and have no players suspended for the game.
HB Køge - Viborg FF
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will be tasked with the tough job of trying to take points on their visit to Køge on Saturday, needing to turn things around as the season winds down to avoid relegation.
The team's inability to hold onto the lead at home against Naestved last weekend saw them drop back down into the relegation zone, albeit with just one point distancing them from the four teams directly above.
Unfortunately for the Greens, their chance for redemption is a tough one, as they must now pay a visit to second-place HB Køge, who are looking to secure their spot back in the Danish top flight in their final seven games.
Despite their surprising 1-0 loss at Roskilde on their last outing, Køge are perhaps the hottest team in the division, with their last loss beforehand coming in mid-October, and a string of 11 wins compared to a single draw bridging the long gap between these two losses.
Viborg are fortunately still free from injury, however will still be missing Sune Killerich as the young defender serves the second of a two-game suspension for a red card.
Køge will be without the suspended defender Stefan Hansen, but could see the return of forwards Fabinhi and Simon Christoffersen to the field after both missed last weekend's loss at Roskilde, and will likely also have midfielder Mads Laudrup available after he was pulled early due to tightness in his calf.
Hvidovre IF - FC Hjørring
Euan Holden should continue to see playing time for Hjørring on Sunday when they visit Hvidovre in a game crucial to their survival hopes.
Hjørring have slipped in recent weeks after looking relatively safe at the break. Monday's 3-0 home embarrassment at the hands of Skive simply highlighted their woes in what has now grown to a six-game winless streak.
While they are momentarily out of the drop zone, albeit by a single point, a failure to start racking up wins in their last seven contests could see the team return to the doldrums of the Danish Second Division.
Fortunately for Hjørring, they visiting the league's last place team on Sunday, with hopeless Hvidovre lying a full nine points adrift and coming off an even more hopeless 3-0 beat-down at the hands of Aarhus on Thursday.
They come into the game in somewhat of a state of flux, as head coach Kim Poulsen resigned from his post to take over the youth setup of Tanzania, leaving assistants Jacob Krüger and Jesper Andersen at the helm for the remainder of the season.
Hjørring have no players suspended for the game and are reporting no injuries, while Hvidovre will be without the suspended defender Jesper Kristoffersen and also injured defenders Stefan Sørensen and Marco Ziegler.
Michael Parkhurst is not expected to be part of Nordsjaelland's squad for their visit to Lyngby on Sunday as he is still recovering from a leg injury, and missed the team's Thursday-night 1-0 first-leg win over Randers FC in the Danish Cup semifinal.