PREVIEW: COPENHAGEN - ODENSE
Conor O'Brien and Odense BK face a tough midweek Danish cup fixture, as they pay a visit to the home of five-time winners Copenhagen on Wednesday evening.
Odense only managed to take a point in their scoreless draw over the weekend at home against Brøndby, but will hope that their overall strong form over the last month will keep up against the ailing giants from Denmark's capitol.
Including late-September's scrimmage-like win over Svendborg in the previous round of the cup, Odense have gone undefeated in their last five games in a streak stretching over one month.
This has thrust them into fourth place in the standings and into their impending matchup against Copenhagen for a place in the Danish Cup quarterfinal round.
O'Brien has come forward as an integral part of the team's lineup, starting in each of their three previous games. The American will almost certainly see action on Wednesday evening, although whether he is in the starting eleven will depend on how much emphasis head coach Troels Bech's emphasis places on the game with a showdown at second-place Aalborg looming on Saturday.
While having overcome their disastrous start to the season, the usually-dominant Copenhagen have still proven to be more shaky than usual, with their seventh-place standing near the season's midway point one of their worst performances in recent memory.
After taking a beating at the hands of Galatasaray in last week's midweek Champions League action, they showed some fatigue in their 1-1 draw at Randers over the weekend, and will try to regain momentum in front of the home crowd in a competition that could be their best shot at hardware this season.
Odense and Copenhagen have met once thus far this season, with a late goal by Belgian striker Igor Vetokele sealing a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in late-September.
Odense will be without Anders Møller Christensen, as the central defender is still recovering from the effects of a head collision. In addition, Niclas Vemmelund, Morten Skoubo, David Löfquist, Jacob Barrett Laursen, Bashkim Kadrii and Casper Radza are all out.
Copenhagen are not reporting any missing players.