DAVID SMITH - Friday, August 13, 2010
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland face a tough local derby match-up with Superligaen leaders Copenhagen while Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus look to take down newly promoted Brønshøj in First Division action.
FC Copenhagen - FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers will do their best to rebound from last weekend's embarrassing home loss to Brøndby as they travel to Copenhagen's Parken Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Nordsjælland has proven fairly inconsistent thus far to open their season, following strong wins against Silkeborg and Randers each with a pair of straight losses in League and Europa League play.
The silver lining surrounding their slow play over the last two weeks is that their elimination from the Europa League allows them to focus on league play, where they are still maintaining fifth-place standing even with their .500 record.
First-place Copenhagen will provide a tough task should they hope to turn things around, as the reigning champions have yet to lose in the new season, notching up four wins and two draws across all competitions.
Nordsjælland coach Morten Wieghorst will be without star forward Nicki Bille Nielsen and central defender Andreas Bjelland, putting added pressure on Parkhurst to keep the line tight against Copenhagen's powerful attack.
Copenhagen will have to make do without Icelandic defender Sølvi Ottesen and Brazilian forward Cesar Santin in their final tune-up before Tuesday's crucial Champions League play-off game against Rosenborg.
Hjørring - FC Roskilde
Jamil Fearrington will be back in Roskilde's squad as they hit the road and go for their first win of the new season against Hjørring on Sunday.
The Danish-American central defender was left out of the roster as the team put up a slightly-weakened squad in their midweek Danish Cup loss, but can expect to play the full game in his accustomed central defense role on Sunday.
Roskilde had impressive stretches but ultimately dropped a 3-1 decision to FC Vestsjælland in their league opener, and will expect to do better against the First Division debutants Hjørring, who managed to draw their opener.
The team is fortunate to be relatively injury-free, missing only Morten Avnskjold as he is still recovering from long-term injuries.
Hjørring have momentum on their side after drawing their season opener and easily winning their midweek Cup game by a 4-1 scoreline over Skagen IK, and are also reporting no injuries or suspensions for Sunday's game.
Viborg FF - FC Vestsjælland
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg host Vestsjælland on Sunday as both promotion hopefuls jockey for their position in the standings.
Viborg could only manage a scoreless draw in their season opening game at Kolding last weekend, but showed signs of waking up in putting a pair of second-half goals past Kjellerup in their cup game on Wednesday.
They are going up against a Vestsjælland team that started their league campaign out on a high note with a 3-1 victory over Roskilde and followed it up with a commanding 12-0 win over lower division Døllefjelde Musse in Tuesday's cup game.
Ogunbiyi tied his future to the club by signing a long-term contract to start the season, thus cementing his place as the anchor of their central defense for the foreseeable future.
The Greens head into the match missing only midfielder Carlos Shiralipour to injury, while Vestsjælland have a full squad.
AGF Aarhus - Brønshøj BK
After jetting back across the Atlantic to play the final 20 minutes of Aarhus' Thursday-night Danish Cup win, Benny Feilhaber should again see minutes as the team hosts Brønshøj on Sunday.
Feilhaber experienced both ends of the soccer world by playing the first half against some of the world's top players in front of more than 70,000 fans on Tuesday with his USA teammates before taking the field for Aarhus in the final 20 minutes of Thursday's win over third-flight Holstebro before a crowd of several hundred.
The team will be hoping for a similar result on Sunday against promoted Brønshøj, and will have a full - even if slightly exhausted - squad with all of their internationals returning healthy from midweek friendly play.
Brønshøj started off their campaign with a home loss to Skive, but rebounded on Tuesday to put seven past their Cup opponents Allerød. They are also reporting a full squad for the weekend's game.
Chris Rolfe still has some time left before he is back to full health however Marcus Tracy is nearing his return for Aalborg and could feature on the bench for the team's trip to Midtjylland on Monday night.