DAVID SMITH - Saturday, October 22, 2011
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will try to stop the bleeding during their trip to Silkeborg while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland face a tough visit to local rivals FC Copenhagen.
Alborg BK - Odense BK
Chris Rolfe will be in the Aalborg starting lineup on Sunday when they look to get their season back on track against visiting Odense BK.
A narrow 1-0 loss during last weekend's trip to Nordsjaelland left Aalborg in the midst of a five-game winless streak and rapidly falling from their once-high perch near the top of the Superligaen standings.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the nature in which they have failed to win over the last month-plus, with an attack which has had trouble clicking combining with a defense that has regularly wasted leads to give a string of unnecessarily disappointing results.
They might have caught a break in facing a stone-cold Odense team that has struggled for wins as of late amidst their busy schedule. They were embarrassed at home on Thursday by FC Twente in Europa League play, and their only victory in the last month has been over last-place Køge.
Odense are not reporting any absences to their available squad. Aalborg do see the return of defender Kjetil Wæhler from suspension, however he is replaced by midfielder Anders Due who is out on yellow card accumulation. Otherwise, the only other Aalborg player out injured is defender Patrick Kristensen.
HB Køge - FC Midtjylland
Brad Rusin and Køge are likely in for a tough run when they host second-place Midtjylland on Sunday.
Køge continued their disastrous freefall back to the First Division last weekend, never looking even close to taking anything in their 3-1 home loss to SønderjyskE.
Despite playing a second straight game at home, they can be considered as unquestionable underdogs to the Wolves of Midtjylland, who have won seven of their last nine games while only allowing a total of four goals in those wins.
They were perhaps somewhat lucky in their 1-0 win over Brøndby last week, having won on a highly-contested penalty call, however any uncertainty as to the nature of their win does little to take away from the luster of their current run.
Køge will have several absences to contend with; defender Andreas Sørensen continues to be missing as he recovers from a broken foot while midfielder Marcel Rømer and defender Simon Richter are both suspended.
Midtjylland should have an injury- and suspension-free team available for the game.
Silkeborg IF - Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson and Brøndby are in desperate need of a win over fellow strugglers Silkeborg to avoid falling further towards the bottom of the standings.
Brøndby's somewhat unfortunate loss at Midtjylland last weekend left them tenth place in the 12-team Superligaen standings, with only Køge and Lyngby currently below them.
They have won only three times through the first 12 games of the season, and the fact that all three have come against teams either below or directly above them in the standings is perhaps strong proof that Brøndby's current woes are not just temporary.
They do still have a five-point cushion above the relegation places, but a loss to Silkeborg would put them within a single game of the drop zone.
Brøndby are forced to play without suspended midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli, but otherwise should have a full team available for the trip.
Silkeborg have no injuries or suspensions for the game.
FC Copenhagen - FC Nordsjaelland
Michael Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers will look to carry their momentum to Copenhagen's Parken Stadium on Monday evening in a marquee derby matchup.
Usually a David versus Goliath battle, Monday's game carries perhaps more significance than any recent meetings between these two teams.
With Copenhagen being the current league champions and Nordsjaelland holding the Danish Cup, this de facto Supercup match also pits the perennial champions against one of the hottest teams of the division.
The Wild Tigers have won six of seven across all competitions to sit at third just behind Midtjylland, and while they have little hope of actually overtaking Copenhagen atop the standings, they are beginning to look like serious contenders to push into one of the league's European spots.
Monday's game will be a serious test of their credentials and couldn't have come at a better time, with Copenhagen somewhat demoralized from their 2-0 defeat at the hands of AC Horsens last weekend for their first league loss of the season, and surely still feeling some level of exhaustion from Thursday's visit to Hannover in Europa League group stage play.
Nordsjaelland backup keeper David Jensen is expected to be out of training for four to six weeks after suffering a knee injury, and defender Henrik Kildentoft is unlikely after falling ill with pneumonia.
Copenhagen are only missing Icelandic defender Sølvi Ottesen to suspension.
Conor O'Brien will hope to see substitute action for SønderjyskE on Sunday when they host a surging AC Horsens team.
Babajide Ogunbiyi is out of action for awhile as he recovers from knee surgery and did not suit up for Viborg on Friday for their 2-1 win at Fredericia.