DAVID SMITH - Friday, March 16, 2012
Michael Parkhurst and Clarence Goodson square off in a Copenhagen derby while Chris Rolfe could return for Aalborg as they visit Brad Rusin and Køge.
FC Nordsjaelland - Brøndby IF
Michael Parkhurst and Clarence Goodson will both be starting in their respective teams' back lines on Sunday when Brøndby pay a visit to second-place neighbors FC Nordsjaelland.
Both Brøndby and the Wild Tigers are fared well in their first two games of the year, each picking up a win and a draw.
This positive start has perhaps proven to be more crucial to Brøndby, as it has given them a seven-point space ahead of the drop zone, and likely secured their place in the top flight for next season.
Nordsjaelland are still enjoying their strongest-ever season in league play. While even a second place finish putting them in Champions League qualification would be an accomplishment, they will undoubtedly see the a possibility to fight for the Superligaen title out of the corner of their eye, with Copenhagen just four points ahead and looking far less than the invulnerable giants of years past.
This is the second of three meetings of the two Copenhagen-area rivals, with the Wild Tigers having taken the first back in mid-September with a 2-0 win.
Nordsjaelland are missing attacking players Mikkel Beckmann, Joe Sise, Andreas Granskov and Rawez Lawan, along with reserve keeper David Jensen, all due to injury. In addition, starting central defender Andreas Bjelland is out on yellow card accumulation.
Brøndby are not reporting any injuries or suspensions.
HB Køge - Aalborg BK
After missing last weekend's game with a minor injury, Chris Rolfe is expected to be back on the field on Monday when Aalborg visit last-place HB Køge.
Brad Rusin has yet to suit up in 2012 due to an ongoing injury, and will likely not take the field in Sunday's contest.
Aalborg have done well to start the 2012 half of their campaign, scoring a draw with Copenhagen two weeks ago before beating Lyngby in a narrow 1-0 win at home last weekend.
Despite Køge having won their second of the season over Silkeborg on Sunday, Aalborg will still be distinct favorites to win at the division's last-place team.
A victory could very well bump them into the Europa League qualification spots should results turn out favorably, although with practically half the league competing for the allotted two places, the race is likely to remain tight over the season's final 13 games.
For Aalborg, Nicolaj Thomsen and Kasper Bøgelund are both question marks after missing the team's last game, while Bo Storm, Brad Rusin and Simon Richter are all likely still out injured for the hosts.
Additionally, Køge are without Thomas Sørensen after the defender's yellow card last weekend put him over the limit.
Conor O'Brien will hope to make SønderjyskE's bench on Sunday when they host Silkeborg IF.