MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, April 12, 2013
Mikkel Diskerud and Rosenborg will attempt to stretch its perfect start to four matches, while Zarek Valentin looks to build off a strong performance from last week.
Rosenborg Trondheim - Start Kristiansand
Mikkel Diskerud and Rosenborg look to continue their perfect start to the season against Start on Friday.
Rosenborg has been unstoppable through the first three matches on the season. Not only do the Troll Kids have three wins through three matches, but they also have yet to allow a goal in Tippeligaen play. They are averaging three goals scored per match.
Start has played two matches so far, having one postponed due to unplayable weather conditions. Despite being promoted from the Adeccoligaen, Start has fared well in its first two matches, winning a 3-2 thrilling opener against Hønefoss and tying Tromso 2-2.
Rosenborg's Tarik Elyounoussi is dealing with a left thigh and hip problem but should be available for the match. Start will be without its captain, Glenn Andersen, who's suffering from a knee injury.
Molde FK - Sogndal IL
With Rosenborg starting off strong, Josh Gatt and Molde need to end an unprecedented losing streak against Sogndal on Saturday.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over Molde in 2011, the team had never lost two consecutive matches, let alone three like the team has done to start this season. This has left the back-to-back Norwegian champions in a huge hole, sitting in last place with zero points.
To shake things up last week, Solskjær made three changes to the starting lineup, with Gatt being one of those relegated to the bench. Whether the American winger will start on the bench again might happen again.
Like Molde, Sogndal has struggled to start the season. The team sits in 15th place, having recorded one point and tying for a league-high seven goals. This team might be just what the doctor ordered for Molde to turn around its cold start.
First-choice goalkeeper Espen Bugge Pettersen will be out for a while after suffering a thigh injury against Lillestrøm on April 2. Sogndal could be without Tonny Brochmann with a muscle problem, Mathias Dyngeland with a knee problem and Petter Aase with a groin problem.
Hønefoss BK - FK Haugesund
Steve Clark, Kenneth di Vita Jensen and Hønefoss will hope to end their defensive struggles when hosting Haugesund on Sunday.
Last season, Hønefoss couldn't buy a goal, which is one of the biggest reasons the team almost fell into the relegation zone despite being in fourth place past the season's halfway mark. Offense hasn't been a problem, recording seven goals so far, but now the defense is struggling, as Clark and Co. have allowed seven as well.
Haugesund may have played two matches to everybody's else three, but the trend in those first two matches are promising for Hønefoss to work on defense. Haugesund has scored just one goal this season.
Joakim Vaage Nilsen, Trygve Nygaard, Christian Gytkjær, Andres Mar Johannesson, Vegard Skjerve and Pontus Engblom are doubtful for Haugesund, while Hønefoss is not reporting any injuries at this time.
Sandefjord Fotball - Bodø/Glimt
Following a strong debut in Norwegian soccer last week, Zarek Valentin will look to help Bodø/Glimt pick up another win against Sandefjord on Monday.
Valentin managed to secure a loan to Bodø/Glimt the Tuesday before the start of the Adeccoligaen season, and with very little time to prepare, the American right back was handed the start. He went the distance in the team's 3-1 win over Ullensaker/Kisa and earned praise from his coach.
Bodø/Glimt's opponent, Sandefjord, will be a tougher matchup, though. Along with Bodø/Glimt, Sandefjord is expected to be in the promotion picture come the end of the season.
Neither team is reporting any injuries at this point.
Rhett Bernstein is questionable for Mjøndalen with some knee problems.