DAVID SMITH - Thursday, April 8, 2010
Benny Feilhaber continues his road to recovery when Chris Rolfe and Aalborg pay a visit, while Jamil Fearrington and Roskilde face an uphill task should they hope to surprise first-place Horsens.
AGF Aarhus - Aalborg BK
After logging nearly a full game of action over the weekend against Randers, Benny Feilhaber should once again take the field on Saturday afternoon for Aarhus when Aalborg and fellow American Chris Rolfe pay a visit.
Aarhus have embarked on a decent run over their last three games, notching up five points, but more importantly shutting down all three of their opponents on the defensive end.
Feilhaber was forced into early action during Sunday afternoon's draw with Randers when Georgian attacker Davit Devdariani went out in the first quarter-hour with a leg injury, and continued to show why he had been such an important cog in the team's midfield machine.
While the team was hoping to take his return to action slowly to give his ankle time to re-acquaint itself with the rigors of play, their hand could be forced due to significant injuries to the midfield.
In addition to the young Devdariani, Aarhus are still without two of their biggest stars, with midfielder Jakob Poulsen out until later in April with an ankle injury and Peter Graulund out possibly through the remainder of the season.
Aalborg suffered a heartbreaking draw - their third in a row - during the weekend in which they gave up the equalizing penalty in the final minute of regulation, and will be trying to make a push back up into the final Europa League qualification spot, which they only trail by three points.
The team is missing several players to injury including Kaspar Bøgelund, Daniel Fredheim Holm and Daniel Christensen. In addition, American forward Marcus Tracy has been ruled out for the rest of the season with persistent patellar tendinitis.
Viborg FF - Thisted FC
Babajide will get the starting nod in Viborg's central defense on Friday evening as they try to continue their push towards the final promotion spot against visiting Thisted.
A last-gasp winner over the weekend in Naestved kept the team within reasonable reach of their goal of promotion to the top division SAS Ligaen, as they are only six points off the pace with an all-important game in hand.
Their opponents Thisted were looking to build momentum towards their own possible promotion push, however a much-delayed start to the spring topped by their most recent 3-0 thrashing at the hands of leaders AC Horsens has them looking like a team resigned to sitting in the middle of the pack.
Viborg will likely continue to be without forwards Christian Muomaife and Christian Olsen, midfielder Kevin Mensah and defender Simion Bulgaru, all of whom sat out the team's weekend game with injuries.
Thisted are reporting no injuries or suspensions.
AC Horsens - FC Roskilde
Jamil Fearrington will hope that Roskilde can keep their recent strong defensive record in tact when they pay a visit to First Division leaders Horsens on Sunday.
Roskilde have ridden a strong defense in their first two games back from winter break to four points and most importantly out of the relegation zone, but will be tested heavily on the road against the division's top-scoring team.
While hanging on to just four wins through their first 17 games to sit perched four points above the line, Fearrington and his teammates have indeed shown the ability to pull off the occasional surprise result, most notably taking down promotion hopefuls Fredericia 2-0 in their own home stadium.
Their attempt to pull a similar surprise on Horsens will have to take place without two starters, as Stefan Schmidt went down with a knee injury in last week's game, while Nikolai Hansen is suspended due to card accumulation.
They will continue to be without long-term absences Morten Avnskjold, who suffered catastrophic leg injury during last summer's pre-season preparations and forward Tobias Perch-Nielsen, who recently underwent surgery on his meniscus.
Horsens should have a full squad, unafflicted with injuries or suspensions.
Euan Holden is still out with a minor injury and will likely not take part when Vejle host Hvidovre IF on Sunday.
Michael Parkhurst will hope to see some time on the field when Nordsjælland host Køge on Monday.