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FC Copenhagen
Danish Superliga | Gameweek 10
May 26, 2024 at 4pm UK

1 - 1

Claesson (35')
Vavro (66')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Harder (87')
Ingvartsen (52')

Preview: Copenhagen vs. Nordsjaelland - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Danish Superliga clash between Copenhagen and Nordsjaelland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Left to fight for the final European spot available in the Danish Superliga Championship round in the final game of the season, Copenhagen and Nordsjaelland will do battle in a crucial contest at Parken Stadium on Sunday.

Having both faltered in recent weeks, the hosts head into the game with a slender one-point lead over their fourth-placed visitors and will bid to maintain their position and advance to the league's playoff game.

Match preview

Copenhagen coach Jacob Neestrup gives instructions to Orri Oskarsson on March 6, 2024© Reuters

Copenhagen head into the final game of the Danish Superliga Championship group aiming to bounce back from consecutive defeats and maintain third spot in their bid for European qualification for next term.

They ended the regular season in third spot with an eight-point lead over the chasing pack in the fight for continental football, and the Byens Hold sat in a strong position with as few as three games to go in their bid to win the title for the third straight season, finding themselves level with FC Midtjylland on 58 points at the summit thanks to four consecutive wins.

The campaign has quickly taken a downward turn for Jacob Neestrup's side, though, as they have since fallen out of the title picture and seen their top-three status put at risk as a result of back-to-back defeats, with the winning run initially halted by a 2-1 loss in a pivotal meeting at home to Midtjylland.

Aiming to bounce back and guarantee third spot and a place in the Superliga's European playoff, while maintaining any pressure on the top two, the Byens Hold most recently visited Aarhus on Tuesday and again came away empty-handed, with Orri Oskarsson's brace not enough to force a result as Mads Madsen netted a first-half hat-trick in a 3-2 home win.

Now trailing the top four by four points with one game remaining, and having failed to guarantee their top-three finish thus far, Copenhagen head into Sunday's game on home turf desperate to bounce back and maintain their slender lead over the fourth-placed visitors to book a place in the playoff.

FC Nordsjaelland coach Johannes Hoff Thorup before the match on September 21, 2023© Reuters

Their visitors, meanwhile, travel to the Danish capital aiming to leapfrog the last season's Superliga champions on the final day to stake their own claim for European football next term, having also failed to significantly strengthen their hopes in the last two attempts.

After finishing second to Copenhagen last term, Nordsjaelland ended the regular season in fourth spot with 37 points from 22 games, a single spot behind their hosts, and they kept pace with the top three for the majority of the playoff stage, sitting level with current leaders Brondby and two points behind Copenhagen and FC Midtjylland as a pair of victories earlier this month saw them move onto 56 with three games remaining.

Like the defending champions, Johannes Thorup's side have lost their momentum and dropped out of the title picture since, firstly visiting Brondby and suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat with Yuito Suzuki's first-half goal making the only difference.

Still trailing third spot by two points, the Tigrene set out to bounce back on Tuesday when they faced another tricky test against then leaders Midtjylland, and while they were unable to return to winning ways, Thorup's men did half the deficit with a creditable point from a 3-3 draw, albeit in disappointing circumstances having led 3-0 through Ibrahim Osman's opener and Benjamin Nygren's first-half brace before Franculino, Mads Bech Sorensen and Sverrir Ingi Ingason got on the scoresheet to force a share of the spoils.

That result, while somewhat agonising, does mean that Nordsjaelland head into the weekend's trip knowing a victory over Copenhagen would see them wrap up a third-placed finish and move within a playoff tie of Europa Conference League qualification, and they will go in search of a 17th win of the season to do so.

Copenhagen Danish Superliga form:

Nordsjaelland Danish Superliga form:

Team News

FC Copenhagen's Magnus Mattsson celebrates scoring their first goal with Rasmus Falk on February 13, 2024© Reuters

Copenhagen continue to contend with several injury issues heading into the final day, with Davit Khocholava, Nicolai Boilesen, Andreas Cornelius and Roony Bardghji set to continue lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Orri Oskarsson will continue to lead their line, having netted a brace last time out to take his tally to 14 goals for the season including nine in 25 Superliga appearances at the age of 19 years old, while Mohamed Elyounoussi and Elias Achouri are danger men either side in a front three, with the former boasting 13 goals and seven assists across all competitions this term and the latter leading the division's assists charts with 14 in 27 appearances.

Elsewhere, Scott McKenna, Peter Ankersen and Kevin Diks will line up in an unaltered back three, while goalkeeper Kamil Grabara will make his final appearance for the Byens Hold before departing for Wolfsburg in the summer.

Nordsjaelland will travel with a cleaner bill of health at the weekend, with Erik Marxen likely remaining their only enforced absentee through injury.

They may be unchanged from the 3-3 draw with FC Midtjylland last time out in a 4-3-3 shape, with 19-year-old Ibrahim Osman bound to again lead the line having moved onto six goals alongside seven assists for the season in that game.

Winger Benjamin Nygren will also continue in the front three after his brace on Monday, while Zidan Sertdemir, Jeppe Tverskov and Daniel Svensson should again line up in the engine room.

Copenhagen possible starting lineup:
Grabara; Ankersen, Diks, McKenna; Jelert, Falk, Mattsson, Meling; Elyounoussi, Oskarsson, Achouri

Nordsjaelland possible starting lineup:
A Hansen; Villadsen, Nagalo, K Hansen, Frese; Sertdemir, Tverskov, Svensson; Nygren, Osman, Schjelderup

SM words green background

We say: Copenhagen 2-1 Nordsjaelland

With both teams fighting to bounce back to winning ways and take third spot and the resultant playoff place, we are bound to see a hard-fought encounter in the Danish capital on Sunday.

It is Nordsjaelland who require a victory to overturn the deficit, but the hosts may pick off their visitors given the superior quality in their ranks, and we fancy Neestrup's men to prevail as a result.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Copenhagen coach Jacob Neestrup gives instructions to Orri Oskarsson on March 6, 2024
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