DAVID SMITH - Friday, October 26, 2012
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland will try to inch towards the Superliga top-two when they host Aalborg while Clarence Goodson should return to Brøndby's starting lineup for their trip to Midtjylland.
FC Nordsjaelland - Aalborg BK
Just three days after their heroic draw with Juventus in Champions League group play, Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland must remain at their best when they host second-place Aalborg on Friday evening.
The Wild Tigers put on a resilient performance during the week, limiting reigning Italian champions Juventus to a single goal in a 1-1 draw which gave them their first point in the Champions League.
They face a second straight tough test, hosting second-place Aalborg in a game which will certainly have implications on the race to reach next season's Champions League competition.
While a win would still not be enough to allow them to jump into second themselves, it would cut the gap to a single point, and cut into some of Aalborg's recent momentum as the winter break approaches.
Nordsjaelland are not reporting any missing players while Aalborg will be without injured midfielder Thomas Augustinussen as well as defenders Nicholas Gotfredsen and Kasper Bøgelund.
Esbjerg fB - SønderjyskE
Conor O'Brien and SønderjyskE will try to keep the momentum from their midweek Danish Cup win running when they visit struggling Esbjerg on Sunday.
While only against lowly Hjørring, Wednesday's 4-0 victory was a much-needed result for SønderjyskE, who have been struggling mightily in league play as of late.
They have slowly crept down the standings towards the relegation zone as of late, and need to get back on the winning track as their cushion is now just three points.
Esbjerg looked like they were headed to a quick return to the First Division earlier in the season, but have lost only once since mid-September, and will be eager to put some space between themselves and the bottom two.
As things currently stand, they are tied on points with 11th-place Silkeborg, but are kept above the relegation line by way of their vastly superior goal differential.
For SønderjyskE, forwards Johan Absalonsen and Kenan Hajdarevic are both injured as is midfielder Hallgrimur Jonasson.
Esbjerg have a number of players on the injury list. Magnus Lekven, Jesper Lange and Martin Braithwaite are all questionable with slight knocks, while Jesper Rasmussen, Mikkel Vestergaard, Arnor Smarason, Steven Somers and Martin Bergvold will all definitely be out.
FC Midtjylland - Brøndby IF
Clarence Goodson should be fit once again and in Brøndby's starting lineup on Sunday when they head west to fake on ninth-place Midtjylland.
Brøndby have been a complete disaster this season, winning only once in league play and sitting at the rear of the Superliga standings.
They barely lost last weekend's derby matchup with Copenhagen, and desperately need to turn things around against an underwhelming Midtjylland team that has also struggled for wins this season.
Goodson was forced to miss last weekend's game against Copenhagen after returning form international duty ill, however should be back in the team's central defense on Sunday.
Brøndby and Mitdjylland met one month ago, with each taking a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
For the Wolves, Nigerian midfielder Izunna Uzochukwu is out on red card suspension while Martin Albrechtsen and Jannik Skov Hansen are question marks for Brøndby after missing last weekend's game with minor injuries.
Charlie Davies will hope to see his recent near-drought of playing time increase on Saturday when Randers pay a visit to Silkeborg IF.
After making his debut for Hjørring in their midweek Danish Cup loss to Nordsjaelland, Mike Jones will more than likely return to bench duty for the team when they host Lyngby on Sunday.
After missing several games with injury, Brad Rusin could make his come-back for Køge on Sunday when they host Skive IK. Køge defender Shawn Nicklaw will likely begin the game on the bench.