DAVID SMITH - Friday, May 13, 2011
Steve Clark will try to move back into the Adeccoligaen's promotion spots while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek have a good chance to jump into the Tippeligaen's first place against last-place Sogndal.
Stabaek IF - Sogndal IL
After running into a bit of trouble in their eventual midweek Norwegian Cup win over Hasle-Løren, Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will hope to be back at their best on Monday evening when they host last place, winless Sogndal.
Sogndal backup keeper Joseph Bendik will in all likelihood watch the proceedings from the bench.
Stabaek were thoroughly unimpressive in their cup victory on Wednesday, winning over their overpowered lower-league competition by only a single goal despite having a nearly full-strength squad out on the field.
This was in all likelihood just a minor hiccup, as they have otherwise been impressive so far in league play, hanging right around the top of the league just one point back from first place.
They have been on a scoring tear in their last two outings, racking up seven goals in a pair of wins, however their defense has been suspect, to put it mildly, with a league's worst 15 goals conceded through six games.
Fortunately for Diskerud and his teammates, their opponents Sogndal have been without any doubt the worst attacking team in the league, netting just twice through their first six games to earn a grand total of two points.
Stabaek will be missing midfielder Johan Anderson to a thigh problem, while Sogndal are reporting no absences.
Hønefoss BK - Asker
Steve Clark and undefeated Hønefoss will hope to come out of their Sunday matchup with likewise unbeaten Asker unscathed as they try to make an early case as possible promotion contenders.
The first five weeks of the Adeccoligaen have provided somewhat odd results, as there are still a remarkable five teams who have yet to lose, and exactly half of the league is within three points of each other ranging from first to eighth place.
Hønefoss is one of these five unbeaten teams, although it would be folly to call them dominant, as they have only managed to win twice so far in five games.
They have, however, put up excellent numbers on defense, conceding a stingy three goals during this time, tied for league's best with their Sunday opponents.
Asker also have an identical record as Hønefoss, however their league's second-worst five goals has them bringing up the rear of the pack of undefeated teams.
Both teams are reporting full squads for the game.
Strømmen IF - Ham-Kam
Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam will do their best to entirely forget their humiliating midweek cup loss when they next take the field on Monday night to visit eighth-place Strømmen.
Ham-Kam were unceremoniously dumped out of the Norwegian Cup in front of a shocked home crowd, losing 3-1 to lower league minnows Byåsen IL in a game they will hope to leave behind them as fast as possible.
Unfortunately the loss is likely a sign of some true problems within the team; they have yet to take a win through five games, and are currently one point deep within the four-team relegation zone, facing an uphill battle if they hope to remain in the second tier just after their promotion campaign of last season.
Strømmen should be without injured defender Henrik Nordnes while Ham-Kam are listing no absences.
After playing the full 90 minutes in Molde's Norwegian Cup win on Thursday, both Josh Gatt and Sean Cunningham will miss Molde's next two league games as they are off in France on U-20 international duty. In the Americans' absence, Molde will visit Lillestrøm on Monday night.
Both Kyle Helton and Rhett Bernstein are injured and will not take party on Monday when Mjøndalen host Sandnes Ulf.
Sandefjord backup keeper Colin Burns will most likely not take part on Monday when the team visits Nybergsund IL.