DAVID SMITH - Thursday, September 9, 2010
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will try to get back on track when they travel to Hjørring for Friday night action while Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus can extend lead atop the league against lowly Hvidovre.
Hjørring IF - Viborg FF
Following last weekend's narrow shut-out loss to Fredericia, Babajide Ogunbiyi and the Greens will need to once again find their scoring touch should they hope to pick up full points in Hjørring on Friday evening.
Viborg will be looking to make up for coming up empty handed in a game that should have turned out much differently, as an early own-goal combined with a dubious missed penalty call on the opposing team and a flurry of missed chances saw them lose 1-0 to third-place Fredericia.
While having just made the jump up to the First Division, their Friday night opponents Hjørring should not be taken lightly, as the team from the far north of Denmark has managed a respectable six points through five games - one more than Viborg - and are positioned in the upper half of the standings.
Veteran head coach Kim Poulsen saw his plucky squad battle to a scoreless draw on their visit to Vejle last weekend, with the team having to do without the services of starting keeper Bora Zivkovic for the final half-hour as he was rushed to the hospital to receive stitches for a gash on his head.
Even though only one-sixth of the season is through, they are showing the defensive fortitude that could very well keep them in the division, even with their faltering attack averaging just one goal per game.
Viborg coach Lars Søndergaard must still wait for the debut of Philip Rasmussen as the new transfer from Nordsjælland is not yet ready. In addition, regulars Christian Olsen and Jonas Thorsen will be out with injury as will Kasper Østervemb, Nicolai Melchiorsen and youngster Jeff Mensah.
Hjørring are reporting no injuries or suspensions.
AGF Aarhus - Hvidovre IF
Having been granted last weekend off due to a number of missing internationals, Benny Feilhaber and Aarhus return to action on Sunday afternoon, and will feel confident of picking up three points against relegation-threatened Hvidovre.
After stuttering slightly in their season-opening draw against Vejle, Aarhus have been an unstoppable force in the First Division, rattling off three straight wins with a combined 8-2 advantage.
Even though their game last weekend against Kolding was postponed by ten days due to a number of missing internationals - a rather unusual situation in Denmark's second tier - they still hold the league lead by a narrow advantage in goal differential with one game in hand over the rest of their competitors.
The game begins a grueling 14 days for the team, during which they will have to contend with four rapid-fire games due to Danish Cup play and the make-up for last weekend's postponement.
They will, however, expect to start on the right foot and run their winning streak to four straight when they host 14th-place Hvidovre, as the Copenhagen-area club has hardly set the league ablaze through their first five.
After surviving last season by the skin of their teeth, they appear to hardly be in any better shape after the summer break, leaking ten goals through their first five and looking set for a tough go for the duration of the season.
Having had an extra week off, Aarhus appear to be fully healthy as they are reporting no injuries or suspensions. Hvidovre also look to make the trip to Aarhus with no notable absences.
Michael Parkhurst is back in light training for Nordsjælland following a shoulder injury three weeks ago, however is still doubtful to take the field for his team when they visit Odense BK on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Rolfe has rejoined his Aalborg teammates on the training ground following a long spell out with a hamstring injury, but will still not yet be ready to play on Sunday when they host Horsens. Forward Marcus Tracy is expected to miss the rest of the fall schedule while recovering from his knee problem.