PREVIEW: WEEKEND DANISH ACTION
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland will look to extend their short unbeaten run in Esbjerg while Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg are in desperate need of a win on their visit to Hobro.
Esbjerg fB - FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers will have their eyes on a move upwards in the standings on Sunday when they visit struggling Esbjerg in Superligaen action.
Having spent much of the year as an important and impressive piece in Nordsjaelland's defense, the American center half received a huge boost earlier in the week in the form of a call-up for national team duty later in the month.
His recent absence to injury was surely felt by the team as they had significant troubles to put together any kind of consistency with the much-weakened defense. Since his return, however the Wild Tigers have won their two games by a combined 4-0 score, and look to be one of the current hot teams in Denmark.
Esbjerg too have put together a run in recent weeks, winning four of their last six in all competitions to claw their way free of the relegation zone after poor start to the season.
They most recently came from behind to draw even with Randers, and look to their second straight home game as a prime chance to move upwards in the standings.
Nordsjaelland coach Morten Wieghorst will likely still be without central defender Andreas Bjelland as he needs more time to be at full strength from his knee injury. Additionally, defender Henrik Kildentoft is a question mark after he was forced out of last weekend's win with an injury in the early going.
Esbjerg look to have a full squad ready for action.
Naestved BK - AGF Aarhus
Having received word on Thursday of his call-up to the national team for the upcoming set of friendly matches, Benny Feilhaber will look to continue his fine run as of late to help Aarhus to an important three points on their visit to Naestved on Saturday.
Any worries that his time in the Danish second flight might hurt his position with the national team were put to rest with Feilhaber's call to face Poland and Colombia in the upcoming international break.
His cause was certainly helped by a torrid run during which he has been averaging well over one goal per game and being one of the main driving forces behind the division's best offense.
After eight games into the new season, Aarhus are looking as though their stay in the Danish second flight will be merely a brief stopover, as they have yet to taste defeat and seem only to be getting more potent with each passing week.
Naestved are languishing at the opposite end of the standings, with just two wins through eight games leaving them above the drop zone purely by way of goal differential.
Aarhus will be further helped with the return of previously-injured Caspar Sloth and Dan Thomassen to the lineup, however must still contend with the absences of several other players as Anders Kure, Alexander Jackson Møller, Davit Devdariani and Frederik Krabbe will all sit out with injuries.
Naestved see the return of Henrik Madsen from his card suspension, however Morten Roholte is still absent as he regains his health.
Hobro IK - Viborg FF
With the losses piling up and the team slipping farther from safety with each passing week, Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg desperately need to take full points on Saturday when they visit Hobro.
The lone bright spot for the Greens in the past month was their cup win over Hobro barely a week before, and they will be looking to pull a repeat on Sunday to kick-start what has been an unexpectedly poor season so far.
They have otherwise lost their last four league games and occupy 15th place in the 16-team league and are eagerly waiting for the first sign of a turnaround.
Head coach Lars Søndergaard will be pleased to have Nicolai Melchiorsen back in the team following his injury problems, however Eldin Karisik is definitely out of the squad and Razak Pimpong is a doubt as he suffers knee issues.
Hobro have held their own in the First Division following last season's promotion, most recently having held favorites Aarhus and Fredericia to draws. They look to have a full squad available for Saturday's matchup.
Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy are both injured, and will miss Aalborg's Monday-night home game against Odense.