DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Danish season is coming down to the wire, with both Michael Parkhurst Nordsjaelland as well as Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg facing crucial relegation six-pointers in mid- and late-week action.
FC Nordsjaelland - Randers FC
Michael Parkhurst will look for a second straight start in Nordsjaelland's defense on Wednesday when they host Randers and try to increase their two-point cushion above the relegation zone.
Nordsjaelland's impressive 3-2 win against Silkeborg over the weekend assured they would spend the next few days clear of the drop zone, however Wednesday's game against a Randers team who are just out of the bottom two on goal differential will be the real test.
The Wild Tigers have had a recent success against their upcoming opponents, having beaten them over two legs by an aggregate 1-0 scoreline to reach the Danish Cup final later this month, however this could give the visitors an extra push as they look to give their hosts a difficult night.
Nordsajelland will be without team captain Nicolai Stockholm who is serving suspension while midfielder Patrice Bernier along with forwards Mads Thomsen and Emil Lyng are all out injured.
Randers are missing only defender Alexander Fischer who has a thigh problem.
Silkeborg IF - Aalborg BK
Chris Rolfe will hope to take the field for Aalborg on Thursday when they pay a visit to Silkeborg IF.
Rolfe sat as an unused substitute for Aalborg's last outing over the weekend, and in retrospect, his attacking talents could have been used to possibly break open what ended up being a stale scoreless draw.
While not yet mathematically clear of the relegation zone, Aalborg are in the driver's seat as for their own survival, and could even jump as high as fifth place in what is a tightly packed Superligaen standings below the top four.
Aalborg are missing a number of players, with forwards forwards Henrik Dalsgaard and Marcus Tracy, midfielder Louay Chanko and defender Jakob Ahlmann to miss the rest of the season with injuries. In addition, Rasmus Würtz is suspended, while midfielder Patrick Kristensen and forward Ronnie Schwartz are also sidelined.
Silkeborg will only be missing forward Lars Huldgaard Christensen due to injury.
Lyngby BK - Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will try to lick their wounds after the weekend's loss to Midtjylland, beginning with their Friday-afternoon visit to Lyngby.
Brøndby saw their Champions League hopes practically vanish after their 1-0 loss over the weekend to Midtjylland left them seven points back from second place with only three games left.
They are still practically guaranteed of reaching the Europa League, and can see their berth guaranteed with a win at relegation-threatened Lyngby.
Only midfielder Jens Stryger Larsen and forward Martin Bernburg continue to be out with injury for Brøndby, although they are both training with the first team again. Remco van der Schaaf is also doubtful for Brøndby due to a slight knock.
Lyngby is reporting a full squad for the game.
Viborg FF - Hobro IK
Babajide Ogunbiyi will be in Viborg's starting lineup on Thursday as they try to improve their standing in the relegation fight against Hobro IK.
Viborg were unable to fight their way to a goal in the team's 1-0 loss to Brønshøj over the weekend.
The result still left them out of the drop zone - albeit by only a single point - and a home win over Hobro could go a long way to assuring they still have a place in the First Division next season.
Neither team has any players suspended and have fully healthy squads available for the game.
Euan Holden will hope to see the field for Hjørring on Friday afternoon when they face Fyn in a crucial relegation six-pointer.