DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 1, 2011
Chris Rolfe will hope to continue his return from injury when Aalborg host a tough Odense team while Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will try to keep momentum going on their visit to Fredericia.
Aalborg BK - Odense BK
After returning to the field as a second half substitute in Aalborg's last game before the international break following along injury hiatus, Chris Rolfe will hope to once again participate on Saturday when the team takes on second-place Odense.
Aalborg finally broke out of their long rut two weeks ago on their visit to Lyngby, fighting back from an early deficit with a pair of second half goals to earn their first league win since October.
Despite their poor showing in the last five months, the league's last-place team is surprisingly within close reach of a safe position in the standings thanks to a fairly even level of parity amongst all but the very top teams.
Should they carry over their momentum from the win two weeks ago, the three points could very well lift them free of the drop zone and give the team a fighting chance at survival over the last third of the season.
Rolfe finally made his much-awaited return to the field after his season-long fight with a leg injury, playing the entire first half before leaving in favor of Anders Due.
The appearance was only his eighth since joining the team more than one year ago, as a constant fight with various injuries has severely limited his use to the team.
Despite Rofe's new-found fitness, Aalborg are still struggling with a number of other injuries to the squad and will be somewhat shorthanded heading into the game.
American forward Marcus Tracy is out for the rest of the season with knee problems, midfielder Rasmus Würtz is suspended, and Kasper Boegelund, Lasse Nielsen, Ibekwe Chijioke, Henrik Dalsgaard and Jakob Ahlmann are all sidelined with injuries.
Odense have a nearly full squad available for the trip, with just defender Jonas Troest and keeper Mads Toppel out of action.
FC Fredericia - Viborg FF
After finally breaking their four-game winless streak, Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg will look to further distance themselves from the drop zone on Sunday when they visit Fredericia.
The continuance of play during the international break in the Danish First Division turned out to work well for the Greens as they were able to notch a strong 2-0 victory over Hjørring last Sunday.
The win kept the team just barely out of the league's bottom three spots, although their two-point gap above the drop zone is still a major cause for concern.
Their opponents Fredericia are still trying to shake off the rust of the winter break, with their lone game of 2011 coming two weeks ago in a high-scoring 5-4 loss at home to Vestsjaelland.
A similar lack of defense could benefit a Viborg squad which has struggled for goals throughout the season. The team has only put out multiple goal performances on just six occasions through their first 18 games, and need to up the intensity or they risk having a nervy run-in over the final two months of the season.
They should have a full squad available to take the field, and will hope to give the fans further reason to celebrate the organization's 115th birthday, which officially fell on Friday.
Fredericia are also reporting no injuries or suspensions for the game.
Clarence Goodson is out for several weeks with an injury and will not suit up for Brøndby on Sunday when they host Silkeborg IF.
Michael Parkhurst will hope to find his way back onto the field after riding the bench for the last two games when Nordsjaelland visit AC Horsens on Sunday.
Benny Feilhaber is out for Aarhus' next two games with a pulled muscle in his thigh and will not take part when Aarhus host Kolding on Sunday.