DAVID SMITH - Friday, May 10, 2013
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland can lock up their Champions League qualification spot with a home win over Odense while Babajide Ogunbiyi and in-limbo Hjørring will try to get the best of Fredericia.
FC Nordsjaelland - Odense BK
Despite a current four-game winless run, Conor O'Brien and the Wild Tigers can still secure second place on Sunday when they host Odense.
After a loss in mid-April to just-crowned league champions Copenhagen effectively ended their chance of coming back to retain the title, Nordsjaelland have only managed draws in each of their last three games.
While they still technically have a chance to lose their second-place standing to Randers over the final three games of the season, the prospect is highly unlikely, and they can put any fears to rest with a win over a dismal Odense team on Friday.
Odense have just a single win in their 11 games since the turn of the new year, and have been particularly bad as of late in their current four-game losing streak.
They have gotten the better of Nordsjaelland so far this season with a win and a draw in their first two meetings, but will need to make a major turnaround on Friday to defeat what is still a dangerous, if slightly wounded, beast.
Nordsjaelland are missing suspended central defender Jores Okore along with Joshua John, Uffe Bech, Kaspar Lorentzen and Morten Nordstrand, all of whom are out with injuries.
Odense will be without Hannes Anier as he recovers from a groin injury, and possibly also Daniel Hoegh and Rasmus, both of whose statuses are still uncertain.
Viborg FF - Skive IK
RJ Allen and Skive will try to put a damper on Viborg's promotion run on Sunday when they make the short drive to face the division's second-place team.
Skive's 3-1 victory over Hjørring on Wednesday crucially extended their safety net ahead of the relegation places to four points.
While suffering the drop may no longer be a danger due to Hjørring's ongoing off-field troubles, they will still want to make sure to take enough points from their final three games to leave nothing to chance.
Sunday's date in Viborg will be as tough of a test as they have had all season, as the Greens are undefeated in their last 18 games stretching back to mid-October, and are currently looking as favorites to gain promotion if not win the division all-together.
Neither team is reporting any injuries or suspensions.
FC Hjørring - FC Fredericia
With their fate likely in the hands of league officials, Babajide Ogunbiyi and Hjørring will attempt to focus on their remaining games, beginning with a home date with Fredericia on Sunday.
Hjørring were blindsided by Monday's announcement by the Danish FA that they would be forcibly relegated to the third tier for next season due to financial issues surrounding the club.
Prior to the announcement, they had put together a strong enough spring campaign to most likely secure their survival based on league performance, however their status for next season will now be decided off the field in a review of their appeal later this month.
The announcement likely played a role in their 3-1 loss to Skive on Wednesday, a result which still left them six point clear of the drop zone with three games to go.
Their opponents Fredericia have been fairly mediocre in recent weeks, although they did temporarily escape the doldrums to combine with Hobro for an eight-goal thriller on Wednesday, coming out ahead in the 5-3 win.
Fredericia will be missing suspended defender Mads Greve while Hjørring will be missing midfielder Maxime Annys for the remainder of the season due to injury.
With the return of usual starter Dario Dumic from suspension, Clarence Goodson could return to Brøndby's bench on Sunday when they visit Aalborg BK in a tough game crucial to their survival hopes.
After being an unused bench option in Randers' 1-0 Danish Cup final loss to Esbjerg on Thursday afternoon, Charlie Davies will hope for substitute minutes on Sunday when they visit FC Midtjylland.