DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Michael Parkhurst will hope to see the field for Nordsjaelland in their Cup semifinal at Randers while Euan Holden and Hjørring look to earn much-needed points against visting Køge.
Randers FC - FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst is back in Nordsjaelland's squad on Wednesday as they head to Randers looking to protect their 1-0 aggregate lead and push through to the Danish Cup final.
The Wild Tigers gained the advantage after they held on for a narrow one-goal win in the first leg last Thursday thanks to a 31st-minute goal from Rawez Lawan.
Parkhurst has been out for the last month with a hamstring pull and missed the first leg but has been included by head coach Morten Wieghorst in the squad that will travel take on Randers Wednesday afternoon.
Both teams are struggling heavily in league play, making the possibility of competing in the Cup final a silver lining on otherwise disappointing seasons.
Randers are currently losing their battle against relegation, sitting 11th out of 12 teams with just five games left to go. Nordsjaelland have fared somewhat better and are safe by a couple of points, but a tight race at the bottom could see them drop into the bottom two on any given weekend should they continue to slip.
For the Wild Tigers, they are trying to reach their second straight Danish Cup final after being crowned champions last season, and are on a 12-game winning streak in the competition.
Should they hang onto the lead, they will face the winner of the other semifinal, which currently sees Esbjerg holding a 2-1 advantage over Midtjylland, with the two teams set to meet on Thursday in Esbjerg.
Randers are reporting a full squad, while Nordsjaelland will be missing midfielder Patrice Bernier along with forwards Morten Nordstrand, Emil Lyng, Masd Thomsen and Andreas Granskov.
Euan Holden will hope to see action from the bench on Wednesday when Hjørring host promotion favorites Køge in a First Division game vital to their survival hopes.