It was Aarhus who went into Saturday’s first-leg in the better form, as they’d won three on the bounce, scoring an impressive 11 goals in the process. When they notched twice in front of a home crowd at the weekend, such goal-scoring form continued. However, David Nielsen’s men also showcased defensive issues when conceding twice in the first-leg. They’ll probably fancy themselves to score goals in this fixture, though keeping things tight at the back away from home is likely to prove problematic for a team who’re now without a clean sheet in nine matches.
As far as the first-leg goes, much of the same can be said for Sonderjyske, who enjoyed contrasting fortunes at either end of the pitch. In terms of recent form, Tuesday’s hosts had been defending far better than Aarhus prior to these play-offs, though the fact that they’ve now conceded five in their last two matches is something of a concern; however, on their own patch, Claus Nørgaard’s men will back themselves to outscore their opponents.
The first-leg was a tale of two halves; the first 45 belonged to Aarhus, while the second was claimed by Sonderjyske. Having scored twice late on to level things, the latter will come into this match full of confidence, while it is they who have the upper-hand and can thus afford to adopt a slightly more cautious approach before trying to catch their defensively inept opponents out.
Not only do the hosts have the advantage as things stand, but they come into this match having shown exceptional form on their own patch of late, especially from a defensive point of view. Nørgaard’s side have won each of their last five matches on home soil and they’ve kept five clean sheets in doing so. What’s more, Sonderjyske, who kept the joint-most clean sheets at home in the league this season, have conceded just three goals in their last eight at Haderslev Football Stadium. Such form bodes well.
In terms of results, Aarhus have also done reasonably well on the road of late, but they have struggled massively from a defensive point of view, and it is their frailties at the back that could ultimately cost them here. Nielsen’s men have lost just one of their last nine on the road, though they’ve not exactly been secure during that time. They come here having conceded at least twice in each of their last two away matches, while their weaknesses were very much exposed just a few days ago.
The fact that it is they who must force the issue doesn’t really help Aarhus. Having failed to contain Sonderjyske at home, the visitors aren’t fancied to keep things tight in this fixture. The hosts have done well when it comes to keeping things tight at home (before pouncing at the other end) of late and they’re fancied to continue doing so here.
All things considered, it is Tuesday’s hosts who did what they needed to in the first-leg. Aarhus were unable to capitalise at home and they’re now fancied to struggle away from home against a team who’ve saved their best for when playing on their own patch. Backing the hosts to finish the job off is the way to go.
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Aarhus haven’t exactly won many of the recent renewals of this fixture. In fact, Tuesday’s visitors are now without a win in four in this fixture, while they’ve won just one of the last five, as well as just two of the last ten. Having said that, Sonderjyske have only won three of the last ten renewals. When the pair last met at this venue, Sonderjyske won by three goals to nil.
The hosts could continue to be without midfielder Sakari Mattilla, who has been out for a while, though that is their only injury concern ahead of this match. Sonderjyske should otherwise be at full strength.
The visitors have a few worries at present. Mustafa Amini has been out for two games and could remain sidelined, while the same can be said for Tobias Sana, who remains doubtful. Frederik Moller is also expected to miss out.