DAVID SMITH - Saturday, July 28, 2012
Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE will try to stay unbeaten when they visit promoted Esbjerg while Clarence Goodson and Brøndby will be aiming for their first win of the season against Silkeborg.

Esbjerg fB - SønderjyskE

Following last week's impressive draw against league powerhouse Copenhagen, Conor O'Brien will be in SønderjyskE's starting lineup from the opening whistle on Saturday when they try to keep atop the Superliga standings on a trip to Esbjerg fB.

SønderjyskE gained, then promptly squandered the lead against Copenhagen in last weekend's league encounter, however an overall strong performance saw them have few problems to hang on for the valuable point.

The result placed them atop the Superliga standings, ahead of both Copenhagen and Aalborg on goal differential, and a meeting between those two earlier on Saturday could provide O'Brien and his compatriots the chance to create a bit of distance should they come out winners.

They are facing a just-promoted Esbjerg team that has struggled so far in its return to the top flight. They are winless with one point from two games, although a scoreless draw at Aarhus on Monday showed some signs for hope.

Esbjerg are now without midfielder Søren Rieks, who was sold to Dutch NEC Nijmegen in the previous week. SønderjyskE are not reporting any absences.

Randers FC - AGF Aarhus

Charlie Davies and Randers will look to follow up last weekend's much-needed win on Sunday when they host AGF Aarhus.

Davies made his debut for Randers in their 1-0 win at Odense, and with the American still continuing to find his best fitness just two weeks after his transfer, will likely have another shot to add a spark from the bench.

Randers erased bad memories of their opening-weekend shellacking with a strong 1-0 road win at Odense last weekend, and will be facing an Aarhus team which has only been able to struggle to a pair of draws in their largely unsuccessful start to the campaign.

Randers have a pair of absences. Midfielder Oliver Feldballe is sidelined with a thigh injury while Elmar Bjarnason is still working to regain his fitness from an earlier injury.

Aarhus are not reporting any missing players.

Brøndby IF - Silkeborg IF

Having lost two straight to open the season, Clarence Goodson and Brøndby are in desperate need of points, and will do their best to take a positive result when Silkeborg come for a visit on Monday evening.

Brøndby have started the new season exactly where they ended the previous - in complete shambles and looking for any way out of the quagmire.

They were perhaps lucky that the previous season ended a losing streak before they could drop into the relegation places, however with 31 games still to go in the new term, will have to find any way to improve before they have sunken too low to recover.

Fortunately they are hosting Silkeborg, who looked poor in their 2-0 loss at home to Horsens last weekend, and will be gunning for a win that could propel them several places up the standings.

Brøndby's problems will be exacerbated by the absences of the midfield trio Dennis Rommedahl, Jan Kristiansen and Mikkel Thygesen, all due to injury. In addition, backup keeper Michael Falkesgaard is also out.

For Silkeborg, defender Christopher Poulsen and midfielder Martin Svensson are both out injured.

HB Køge - Vejle BK Kolding

Brad Rusin should be in Køge's starting lineup on Sunday when they begin their 1. Division season at home with a visit from Vejle BK Kolding.

Last season's last-place finish returned Køge to the 1. Division after a brief foray in the top flight, and just like the last time they were in this situation two years ago, will be looking for an immediate promotion.

They have a tough opening to the season, facing off against one of the other prime contenders for promotion, Vejle BK Kolding.

Vejle finished in third place, just five points off the league's second promotion spot last season, and are eager to make the jump back to the top-flight where they have spent most of their history as a club.

Neither team is reporting any injuries.


Michael Parkhurst is still recovering from a broken toe and is not expected to be in uniform on Sunday when Nordsjaelland host Odense BK.

FC Hjørring defender Mike Jones will hope to make his overseas debut on Sunday when the team opens their 1. Division campaign with a trip to FC Vestsjælland.

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