MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, October 18, 2013
On opposite ends of the Tippeligaen standings, Mikkel Diskerud and Steve Clark enter this weekend's action needing points.
Start IF - Rosenborg Trondheim
In need of three points in the title race, Mikkel Diskerud and Rosenborg travel to Start on Saturday.
Over the past four matches, Rosenborg has dropped seven points, which has allowed Strømsgodset to take the top spot in the Tippeligaen on goal differential. Considering Strømgodset holds a 13-goal advantage in the goal differential, the Troll Kids need as many lop-sided wins as they can get.
Getting such a win against Start won't be an easy task, however. Start is riding a six-match unbeaten streak that included a four-match winning streak and has the fifth-highest goal total in the league, which should give the Tippeligaen's best defense some troubles.
Fredrik Midtsjø and Per Verner Rønning will miss the match for Rosenborg, as they both suffered season-ending injuries. Start is not reporting any injuries.
Hønefoss BK - Molde FK
Steve Clark and Hønefoss continue their fight for survival when they host Molde on Sunday.
Clark and Hønefoss have spent the majority of the season in the Tippeligaen's cellar, but Hønefoss has climbed into 15th place and is tied on points with Tromsø in the relegation playoff spot following a six-match span, in which the team has recorded nine points. With four matches to go, Hønefoss still has a chance.
Two-time defending champion Molde has skyrocketed up the standings after its slow start, with the team sitting in fifth place going into the weekend. Sitting 15 points behind the league leaders, Molde won't have a chance to get the three-peat, but it still can jump into third place and a European place before season's end.
Hønefoss will be without Helge Haugen and leading goal-scorer Riku Riski with yellow card suspensions, while Molde will not have goalkeeper Espen Bugge Pettersen, Agnaldo and American winger Josh Gatt available because of long-term injuries.