DAVID SMITH - Saturday, March 10, 2012
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland look to inch closer to the Superligaen top spot on their trip to Odense while Chris Rolfe and Aalborg will hope to have no problems with relegation-bound Lyngby.
Odense BK - FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers will try to notch their first win of 2012 on Saturday when they visit struggling Odense BK.
A draw in their 2012 opener at Aarhus was more than enough to keep the Wild Tigers securely in second place, however they will need to start taking the full three-point haul in the immediate future to avoid feeling the pressure from the pack of teams lurking within striking distance.
Saturday's trip to Odense will be a strong indicator as to whether the long winter break has cost them the momentum which they had gathered in late-2011.
While hardly displaying the same quality which has led them to three straight second-place finishes this season, Odense are still far from poor, and have shown the ability spark into action on their good days.
They did struggle defensively in their first game of the new year on Monday, giving up a pair of goals in the final 45 minutes against Silkeborg in a 2-2 draw.
Nordsjaelland are missing attacking players Mikkel Beckmann, Joe Sise, Andreas Granskov and Rawez Lawan, along with reserve keeper David Jensen, all due to injury.
The big question mark for Odense is midfielder Hans Henrik Andreasen, who missed practice during the week with the flu, although he is included in their gameday squad.
Otherwise, defender Tore Reginiussen is suspended and both Jesper Christiansen and Daniel Høegh are both out injured.
Brøndby IF - AGF Aarhus
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will try to keep the momentum rolling on Sunday afternoon when AGF Aarhus pay a visit.
Brøndby's close 1-0 victory over SønderjyskE last weekend finally gave them the breathing room they needed ahead of the relegation zone, however they will need to continue holding a tight defense in order to make up for a miserable offensive output if they hope to avoid too much late-season stress.
Financial difficulties made the first half of the season a practical horror show, however fortunately the even more dismal performances of Lyngby and Køge will likely keep Brøndby safe from any real threat of dropping down to the First Division.
The task against Aarhus will not be an easy one, as the freshly promoted team has continually shown that their lone season in the second-tier did not weaken their resolve. They are currently fourth in the standings, and were able to split the points with second-place Nordsjaelland one week before.
Brøndby are not reporting any injuries or suspensions while Aarhus are only missing midfielder Jerry Lucena to a minor hamstring problem.
Chris Rolfe is out with a minor ankle injury and will miss Aalborg's home game against Lyngby on Sunday.
Brad Rusin will be an option off the bench for last-place Køge on Sunday when they visit Silkeborg IF.
Conor O'Brien will hope to see his first minutes of 2012 on Sunday when SønderjyskE face a brutal visit to defending champs FC Copenhagen.