MEGHAN BRENNAN - Thursday, April 22, 2010
The American pairing of Clay Goodson and Hunter Freeman look to return Start to its winning ways against a Steve Clark-less Honefoss while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek hit the road to face Viking.
IK Start - Honefoss
Honefoss travels to Kristiansand on Sunday without goalkeeper Steve Clark as they face Americans Hunter Freeman, Clay Goodson and fifth place IK Start at Sor Arena.
Wednesday's 1-0 victory for Honefoss over Stabaek came under new interim head coach Tom Gulbrandsen which gave the club their first Eliteserien win and ample defensive preparation for the high flying Start attack they are sure to face on Sunday.
As of late, the host squad has scored a mere two goals in as many games, yet they continue to lead the Eliteserien with a total of 17 on the young campaign.
Strikers Christer Kleiven and Ole Martin Arst are two of Start's and the league's top scorers with seven goals a piece.
The match Sunday, which was going to potentially feature four Americans, may now not see any at all in the Honefoss lineup with Clark injured and striker Kenneth Di Vita Jensen struggling to see any playing time under Gulbrandsen.
Freeman and Goodson, however, are surefire starters on the defensive line of Start's 4-4-1-1 formation at right and center back respectively. Neither will have to face Honefoss striker Madiou Konate who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
A win for Knut Torum's squad, whom sit a mere four points behind top spot in the Eliteserien, could mean a potential return to the top three.
It would also help erase the memory of their lone loss when they fell last Sunday to Stromsgodset.
The last time these to two teams met, was in the 2008 1. Divison, when Start defeated and tied Honefoss.
Viking FK - Stabaek
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek head west to Stavanger this weekend to face Viking FK on their quest for points in the 2010 Eliteserien season.
Stabaek has a long journey ahead of them, one even longer than the eight hour bus ride they will endure to Stavanger.
The 2008 Eliteserien champions are in need of points if they wish to ascend the league rankings from their current position of ninth.
Lately this climb has proved to be an arduous journey for Diskerud and his squad after two losses and a tie over their last four games.
One of those loses came to last placed Honefoss this past Wednedsay at Telenor Arena.
Whether Diskerud starts at his usual right midfield spot or comes in as a first half substitute, which he did Wednesday, the Norwegian-American will do his best to inspire the Stabaek offense and secure three points with his second goal of the season.
Stabaek's hosts, Viking FK have experienced recent succuess with a 1-1 tie to current Eliteserien leaders Tromso and a 1-0 victory over Honefoss. A home turf win on Sunday may put them in the league's top half.
Perhaps a change of scenery from Telenor Arena is what Diskerud and Stabaek need to return order and secure three points for head coach Jan Jonsson.
Both teams will have a full squad available.
Colin Burns will watch from the bench as the backup goalkeeper when 1. Division first place club Sarpsborg host Follo.
Tyrel Lacey continues to recover from his knee injury and will not be available for Lyn's clash with Fredrikstad.