DAVID SMITH - Friday, October 14, 2011
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland will look to continue their run up the Superliga standings against Chris Rolfe and Aalborg while Clarence Goodson and Brøndby face off against second-place Midtjylland.
FC Nordsjaelland - Aalborg BK
With five wins in their last six game across all competitions, Michael Parkhurst and his Nordsjaelland teammates will be out for blood when they host Chris Rolfe and struggling Aalborg on Saturday.
The last few games has seen a near reversal of fortunes for both teams, with the Wild Tigers overcoming a poor start to the season to push towards the upper reaches of the league, while Aalborg have gone winless in their last four to slip into the lower half.
Even taking their respective trends into account, there are still only three points separating the two teams, and an always-tight race below league leaders Copenhagen would likely mean either stands to jump several places in the event of a win.
For Aalborg, taking the three points is perhaps more important, as they desperately need to put a stop to a four-game slide during which they have taken one solitary point, bringing up bad memories of last season's long struggle against relegation.
Nordsjaelland keeper David Jensen is expected to be out of training for four to six weeks after suffering a knee injury in their last game before the break, however he will be replaced by usual starter Jesper Hansen, who is ready to return from a concussion which had kept him sidelined for a short spell.
Aside from Jensen, the Wild Tigers could still be missing defender Henrik Kildentoft who has been struggling with a hamstring problem.
Aalborg are without defender Kjetil Wæhler who is suspended for the game, but otherwise have fully healthy squad available.
HB Køge - SønderjyskE
Brad Rusin and Conor O'Brien could face off on Sunday afternoon as last-place Køge look for any ray of light when they host struggling SønderjyskE.
The game will mark the second meeting of the teams in the last three weeks, with the first game ending up a dull scoreless draw which saw neither able to break through.
Touting the Superligaen's worst defense by a longshot, Køge have shown some signs of life in their last few games, having given up no more than two goals since early-September - an accomplishment considering the regular shellackings to start the season.
Conversely, SønderjyskE have struggled after their surprisingly strong start, with their only non-loss in the last month being the draw against Køge.
Køge will have several absences to contend with; defender Andreas Sørensen continues to be missing as he recovers from a broken foot, while forwards Bo Storm and Fabinho are questionable after missing training during the week with various knocks.
Additionally, Nigerian midfielder Adeola Runsewe is suspended for the game.
SønderjyskE have a full squad aside from injured defender Søren Mussmann.
FC Midtjylland - Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson will be in the starting lineup for Brøndby on Sunday afternoon when they hit the road with the aim of cooling off red-hot Midtjylland.
Apart from leaders Copenhagen, the Wolves have been the hottest team in the Danish top flight over the last two months, winning six of their eight league contests to gain a two-point cushion in second place.
A tight defense has been the key, has they have given up just four goals in those six wins, and they can already claim the upper hand over Brøndby having beaten them in Copenhagen in late-August.
Denmark's heroic midweek win over Portugal to avoid a play-off on the way the final Euro 2012 tournament will also be a boost for both teams as each had a key player on the field.
Brøndby's Michael Krohn-Dehli netted Denmark's opening goal while teammate Dennis Rommedahl served up what was ultimately the deciding score in the crucial encounter, and both will be keen to keep the emotional high running to help Brøndby improve on their otherwise indifferent domestic campaign.
Brøndby forward Brent McGrath should return after missing their last game with a minor injury, giving the team a full squad for the game.
Midtjylland will be boosted by the possible return of defender Jesper Bøge, and should have an injury-free team available.
Babajide Ogunbiyi is recovering from knee surgery and will not take part on Sunday when Viborg visit Naestved BK.