The UEFA Champions League has proved no distraction for FC København as they look sure of a second successive Danish title at the winter break.
With 18 of the season's 33 rounds played, Ståle Solbakken's side are six points clear of their closest contenders in the league - FC Midtjylland - while their traditional title rivals Brøndby IF will be spending the winter break in the bottom half of the table after a grim start to the season. While Midtjylland might seem to be within striking range of a title challenge, the club have already downplayed their ability to keep up the pace in the current campaign having unveiled a plan which stated that their aim was to be capable of winning the Danish title in 2010/11.
Captain Kristian Bak Nielsen said: "Of course, we would like to win the championship before that - this season, if possible - but our financial situation will probably force the club to sell one or two attackers during the winter break - either Mikkel Thygesen or Dennis Sørensen, or both - while København do not have to sell players. They can even afford to buy some." København's financial situation is certainly vastly superior to that of most of their Danish rivals. With extra income from the UEFA Champions League, they will be even healthier than usual, and their players will also doubtless show the benefits of their group-stage experience as the season wears on.
Instability among København's challengers in the league is serving to further smooth their path to the title. Odense BK, the team from Hans Christian Andersen's home town, have done well in reaching the UEFA Cup group stage, but playing European football has had some impact on the club's form - they go into the winter break eight points adrift of the league leaders - and things may not improve in the spring as Scottish coach Bruce Rioch is said to be considering a move home for personal reasons.
The vacuum left at the top of the table by Brøndby's well-publicised problems has allowed north Jutland side Aalborg BK to thrive, leading the table for a while, but a series of defeats has led to the club from Denmark's fourth largest city drop to fourth place and few can envisage them mounting a title challenge in the spring. København look all but unstoppable in the Superligaen. The 2007/08 UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds may represent their next significant challenge.
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