DAVID SMITH - Saturday, July 23, 2011
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland will do their best to pick up their first points of the season against visiting Horsens while Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will try to notch a win on their trip to Silkeborg.
Silkeborg IF - Brøndby IF
After last weekend's season-opening draw against Aalborg, Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will look for their first win of the new season on Saturday on their visit to Silkeborg.
Brøndby were only able to take a point in their back-and-forth contest last weekend against Chris Rolfe and Aalborg, with Mike Jensen saving the team from embarrassment with an injury-time goal to salvage the draw.
With a midweek Europa League trip to Austria to face SV Ried just around the corner, Henrik Jensen's team will need to keep their focus for the weekend or they could risk starting the season on a losing streak.
Silkeborg won't make matters easy for them as they got off to a perfect start in posting a 2-1 win over ten-man Midtjylland on the road last weekend, and will be hoping to keep momentum on their side as they play for the first time this season in front of their home crowd.
Both teams look to have a full squad for the game.
FC Nordsjaelland - AC Horsens
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland will need to be at the top of their game on Sunday when they welcome high-flying AC Horsens to Farum Park.
The Wild Tigers has a rough start to the 2011-12 Superliga season on Saturday, with their largely inconsistent performance dooming them to a shut-out loss at Odense.
Parkhurst was in Nordsjaelland's central defense for the game after spending much of last season at right back or occasionally defensive midfield, and will likely be called back in for the same duty on Sunday.
If recent history has any bearing, they could atone for last week's failure when they host Horsens on Sunday, as they were undefeated over four games in league and cup play against the team last season.
While one game is hardly any judge of how the season can be expected to turn out, Horsens thoroughly dominated promoted team HB Køge in their opener, posting a convincing 3-0 victory which placed them atop the league standings.
Nordsjaelland are still likely to be without striker Mads Thomsen who is still not yet fit. AC Horsens midfielder Troels Kløve is expected to miss approximately two months with a fractured metatarsal.
Aalborg BK - AGF Aarhus
Chris Rolfe will hope to be once again in Aalborg's starting lineup on Sunday as they host newly-promoted AGF Aarhus.
Aalborg came back from a first-half deficit to take a late lead against Brøndby in their season opener, but were forced to settle for a point after allowing their opponents a last-second equalizer.
With a mission to show that last season's near-miss from relegation was only a fluke, they will hope to give Aarhus a reminder that life in the Superliga won't be the cakewalk they experienced in the First Division.
Aarhus looked ready for life in the top division during their 2-1 win over Lyngby on Monday night, and will be confident as they head north to Aalborg, who did look somewhat shaky in the back in the process of giving up a pair of goals to Brøndby.
Aalborg will be without injured midfielders Rasmus Würtz due to hip and groin injuries and Denis Dedovic who suffered a broken nose during the week. American forward Marcus Tracy is still working his way back to full fitness after long-term knee problems.
Aarhus have a number of players out; team captain and starting keeper Steffen Rasmussen is still out with a hand injury, midfielder David Devdariani with an ankle problem, and Giorgi Diasamidze, Hjalte Nørregaard and Jens Gjesing are all also question marks due to injury.
Conor O'Brien missed SønderjyskE's season-opening loss to Copenhagen while awaiting the completion of his work permit, and the club has given no indication yet whether he will be available for selection on Sunday when they visit Lyngby BK.
Brad Rusin might miss HB Køge's home opener against FC Midtjylland on Monday evening as he awaits his Danish work permit to go through the official channels.