DAVID SMITH - Friday, July 20, 2012
Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE will try to continue their hot season start when Copenhagen come to visit while Clarence Goodson and Brøndby look to earn their first points of the season at Aalborg.
SønderjyskE - FC Copenhagen
After putting six goals on the scoreboard in their season-opening win over Randers, Conor O'Brien will hope to keep the trend going when they host FC Copenhagen on Sunday.
Last weekend's blowout win was likely the surprise result of the first week of games, not due to the mere fact that they beat recently-promoted Randers, but the nature in which they asserted their dominance.
A flowing attack already gave the team a three-goal lead at the half, and an equally strong second half - during which O'Brien netted his first of the season - showed signs that they might just have the mettle needed to push for their first-ever qualification to European play.
32 games are still remaining in the season, however, and Sunday's visit from Copenhagen will be a true test as to whether they can run with the big dogs.
The visitors also made a quick start in their opener, putting up a quartet of unanswered late goals to surge past Midtjylland in a 4-2 win.
Between league and cup play, the two teams faced off a grand total of five times in the previous season. The first three meetings all ended in wins for Copenhagen, while O'Brien and his teammates managed to take a win and draw from the final two games.
The last game - a 2-2 draw in Haderslev - was one in a string of disappointing results down the stretch for the usual Danish powerhouse which ultimately led to them being dethroned by eventual champions Nordsjaelland.
SønderjyskE head into the game with a full squad, while the visitors will be missing Claudemir, after the Brazilian midfielder was shown a straight red in last week's game.
Aalborg BK - Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson will captain Brøndby onto the field on Sunday, as they try to avoid a second straight loss to start the season on their trip to Aalborg.
If there was any positive to take from their 1-0 loss last weekend to Odense, it was that the team did look dangerous at times, particularly with Goodson showing his aerial prowess on set pieces might come in handy when the attack otherwise fails.
They are facing an Aalborg team that can perhaps consider themselves lucky that they did not suffer the exact same fate in their opener at Aarhus, as it took a 95th-minute score from star player Jeppe Curth to help them salvage a point.
Brøndby was winless in three attempts against their upcoming opponents last season, twice earning a draw, and losing by the narrowest of margins in the final weeks of the spring.
Aalborg will likely continue to be without Brazilian forward Kayke and midfielder Nicolaj Thomsen due to injury. Brøndby look to have a full squad for the game.
Michael Parkhurst is recovering from a broken toe and will not suit up on Saturday when Nordsjaelland pay a visit to FC Midtjylland.
Charlie Davies will likely be on the Randers bench on Sunday when the team pays a visit to Odense BK.