DAVID SMITH - Friday, August 23, 2013
With league momentum finally on their side after slow starts, Conor O'Brien and Babajide Ogunbiyi will look to extend their respective teams' winning streaks in Danish Superliga action.
Odense BK - FC Nordsjaelland
A rested Conor O'Brien will look to be in Nordsjaelland's starting lineup when they visit Odense BK on Sunday.
After playing the full 90 minutes in each of the Wild Tigers' previous two league games, the American midfielder was rested for their midweek Europa League draw at Swedish team Elfsborg, perhaps with an eye towards keeping him fresh for domestic play.
Nordsjaelland finally broke free of their four-game winless run to start the new season with a much-needed 2-1 win over a quality Aalborg team last weekend. Morten Nordstrand was the hero in that contest, scoring both of the team's goals, including the 72nd-minute winner.
Earning a second straight win in Odense could be a tough order, as their opponents have yet to lose through their first five of the season.
Far from dominant, Odense have managed to sneak draws in four of their five games, with their only real victory coming over promoted team Viborg three weeks ago.
Most recently, they showed their frailty, squandering what should have been their second win of the season by allowing Vestsjaelland a 90th-minute equalizer.
Nordsjaelland are not reporting any missing players, while Odense are without Jacob Schoop and Bashkim Kadrii due to injury.
Viborg FF - Esbjerg fB
Coming off their most impressive result of the season, Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will look to make it two in a row when they host surprise second-place Esbjerg on Sunday afternoon.
Viborg looked to be falling into the all-too-familiar rut of a newly-promoted team, having gone four games from the start of the new season without a victory.
They finally demonstrated that they do possess the fight which will be needed to keep them in the top flight last weekend, smashing SønderjyskE by a 3-0 score in a dominant performance on both sides of the ball.
After making mostly substitute appearances in the first few weeks following his arrival with the team, Ogunbiyi has grabbed the starting spot in their back line, and has looked entirely ready to handle the competition in his first season at this level.
While far from perfect. Esbjerg's three win's through the first five games has been good enough to see them grab second place in the league.
Their 3-2 loss to Randers last weekend did show some signs of worry on the defensive side, however offense has been no issue, as evidenced by their midweek 4-3 Europa League victory over French team St. Etienne.
The teams last faced off two seasons ago one division below, with Esbjerg taking both games by a combined 6-1 advantage.
Viborg are without the suspended Mikkel Rask while Esbjerg should have a full squad available.