The 2023-34 Danish Superliga season starts on Friday with title hopefuls Midtjylland taking on newly-promoted Hvidovre at the MCH Arena, with a 6pm KO.
Midtjylland will be eager to make a positive early impression as they seek to atone for a disappointing 2022-23 campaign which concluded with a seventh-place finish.
And they will be targeting nothing less than three points against Hvidovre, who are eagerly anticipating their first top flight encounter since relegation to the second tier in the 1996-97 campaign.
Football Bet of the Day – Friday 21st July, 2023
Midtjylland to beat Hvidovre and over 2.5 goals @ 5/6
Midtjylland have been one of the most consistent teams in the Danish top flight in modern times and they can send out an early message to the rest of the division by registering a high-scoring victory over Hvidovre in Herning.
The Wolves have become known for their innovative, statistical approach to player recruitment and are likely to involve a number of fresh faces after a busy summer in the transfer market.
Substantial change was seemed necessary after last season’s seventh-place effort which was as low as they have finished since winning promotion to the top flight in 1999-2000.
Seven permanent signings have been made, including South Korean international striker Cho Gue-Sung, who made a name for himself with two goals in his nation’s 3-2 loss to Ghana at the 2022 World Cup.
Cho’s arrival should ease some of the burden on striker Gustav Eriksen, who scored 18 of Midtjylland’s 55 league goals last season, making him the top marksman in the division.
Midtjylland were the league’s second-top scorers last season, but they were less convincing in defence and their home record (six wins, four draws and six defeats) fell well below expectations.
However, the club finished the season strongly, taking 23 points from their final 10 games, and the upturn coincided with the arrival of a new head coach, Thomas Thomasberg, who was appointed on March 23.
Thomasberg may need a little time to integrate the new players and settle on his best team but Midtjylland are expected to go well and they look the most likely challengers to FC Copenhagen, who are aiming for a third-successful domestic league title.
Hvidovre’s aims will be more modest as they seek to re-establish themselves at the top level.
The Old Giants finished second in Danish 1st Division last season, nine points adrift of champions Vejle, and they face a tough challenge as they seek to bridge the considerable class gap between the second and top tiers.
Efforts to strengthen the squad are ongoing but Hvidovre failed to retain key midfielder Fredrik Carlsen, who sealed a summer switch to Silkeborg.
However, Hvidovre were the top scorers in the second tier last season with 65 goals in 32 games and their leading marksman, 11-goal striker Marcus Lindberg, remains on the books.
Hvidovre should carry some confidence into the new season and their head coach, former Bolton midfielder Per Frandsen, will probably encourage them to play to their strengths, which are in the attacking third of the pitch.
Frandsen’s side should create a few chances and may even get on the scoresheet, but their suspect defence could let them down.
Midtjylland’s attack, reinforced by the arrival of Cho, should cause a lot of problems and it may hold the key to a high-scoring home victory.
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