Preview: FC Midtjylland v Sunderland

by Stuart Vose

We look ahead to trip to MCH Arena.

Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland will face a tough test in their final pre-season friendly as they take on Danish side FC Midtjylland on Wednesday (KO 5pm BST).

The Danish domestic season has already begun, with Ulvene (‘The Wolves’) sitting top of the pile with three wins from three games.

Glen Riddersholm’s side won 2-1 at home to SonderjyskE last Friday, following victories against AGF (2-0) and Kobenhavn (1-0).

Di Canio will have a strong squad to choose from and will be looking to see his side continue the momentum gained from a strong showing in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong.

A 3-1 win over Spurs was followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, with the games coming after two victories in practice matches during a training camp in Italy.

The trip to face a match-fit Danish outfit will provide a useful barometer for Di Canio, who will take a final look at his players before deciding on his side to face Fulham on the opening day of the campaign.

Midtjylland have represented Denmark seven times in the UEFA Cup and Europa League since the club was formed in 1999.

They have qualified for the competition proper on four occasions, reaching the second round in 2002-03 and 2004-05.

The club faced Manchester City in the 2008-09 qualifiers, losing on penalties despite a 1-0 win in the away leg in the north west.

Midtjylland came into being following the merger of two clubs – Herning Fremad and Ikast FS. The club was promoted to the top division in 2000.

They finished sixth in the Danish top flight last season and have earned the runners-up spot in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

The club has also reached the final of the Danish Cup four times – most recently during the 2010-11 season – but have yet to lift the trophy.

Former players include Winston Reid – now with West Ham – and former Borussia Dortmund striker Mohamed Zidan.

Wednesday’s game will be played at the 11,800 capacity MCH Arena, which the team have occupied since 2004.