DAVID SMITH - Friday, March 26, 2010
Michael Parkhurst will be hoping to take the field for the first time in 2010 while Euan Holden and Vejle will try to snap their three-game league losing streak in Naestved.
FC Nordsjælland - Aalborg BK
Michael Parkhurst is still awaiting his first appearance of 2010 for Nordsjælland, which could come on Saturday when Aalborg come to town with newly-recovered Chris Rolfe in tow.
Parkhurst has yet to make it off of Nordsjælland's bench throughout their first four games of the spring, including Wednesday's huge away win over league leaders Copenhagen, their second of the season.
Having stood in as the team's right back for the latter stages of the fall, he might have a tough time to unseat current starter Henrik Kildentoft, who has put in good performances over the Wild Tigers' current three-game unbeaten run.
Their visitors Aalborg are coming off an important midweek win over Silkeborg, which rejuvinated their hopes of a top-three finish and a place in next season's Europa League.
The win was Aalborg's second straight and brought them within a single win of third-place Esbjerg in what is shaping up to be a tight three-team race for that final European spot.
Rolfe has been out with injury, however Aalborg coach Magnus Pehrsson confirmed on Friday morning that he will be included in the squad. As forwards Marcus Tracy, Jeppe Curth and Daniel Fredheim Holm continue to be out with injury, the likelihood for Rolfe seeing substantial minutes is high.
Nordsjælland has nearly the same squad available as produced the win over Copenhagen, the only exception being Patrice Bernier who is suspended due to cards.
Naestved BK - Vejle BK
Euan Holden will hope to build on his 18-minute debut in last week's loss as Vejle will try to hold on to their place in the top half of the standings when they visit Naestved on Sunday.
While The Reds' early hopes for a quick bounce back into the Superliga after last season's relegation look to be a thing of the past, they will hope to turn the tide of their current league cold streak which has seen them lose their last three, culminated by last weekend's home loss to Fredericia.
Holden made his European club debut as a 72nd minute substitute in Vejle's midfield and will be looking for a longer appearance against the First Division's current sixth-place team Naestved.
It was officially confirmed on Thursday that Vejle has parted ways with Ghanaian striker Ibrahim Salou, as the 30 year-old signed with Red Bull New York of MLS after spending several days on trial with the team.
The team is also facing more pressing staffing concerns, as midfielder Brian Nielsen, defender Godwin Antwi, midfielder Azer Busuladzic, forward Henrik Andersen, forward Adeshina Lawal, defender Thomas Mikkelsen and midfielder Joseph Akinola Folahan are all questionable after missing last week's loss due to injury.
Naestved had their 2010 opener against Brabrand called off last weekend due to poor field conditions, and have thin hopes of gaining promotion to the Superliga as they are only six points back of second place with one game in hand.
The team is currently reporting no injuries or suspensions.
Lyngby BK - Viborg FF
Babajide Ogunbiyi is expected to start in Viborg's central defense as they will try to make headway towards the spots for promotion to the Danish Superliga when they visit Lyngby on Sunday.
The Pennsylvania native joined the team on an amateur contract, however has been permitted to play with the first team and will likely be a major contributor in their defense throughout the spring.
Viborg won their 2010 opener on Wednesday against relegation candidates Frem, but will face a tougher task against third-place Lyngby if they hope to make it two-for-two in the new year.
Their 27 points are enough to leave a slim hope for promotion as they are only six points off the pace, and a win over their fellow competitors on Sunday will go a long way to putting them in the thick of things.
Central defender Simion Bulgaru will likely be in the starting lineup alongside Ogunbiyi after an injury scare during their midweek win turned out to be only of minor concern after further examination.
Lyngby started the spring off with a tough loss to AC Horsens, and will hope the home game will give them a chance to make a push towards the top two. The team might see the return of forward Lasse Rise after he sat out last weekend's loss with a minor injury.
Benny Feilhaber is still rehabbing from his ankle injury and will not feature as Aarhus will do their best to hold off league leaders Copenhagen in the NRGi Park on Sunday.
Jamil Fearrington continues to await his first chance to take the field in 2010 as Roskilde's Sunday afternoon showdown with Kolding FC has been postponed due to field conditions.