DAVID SMITH - Saturday, May 28, 2011
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will try to put their Norwegian Cup failure behind them on their visit to Start, while Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam will hope to break free of the drop zone on their visit to Alta.
FK Haugesund - Molde FK
Josh Gatt and Sean Cunningham should both be on Molde's bench from the start when the team pays a visit to FK Haugesund on Sunday afternoon.
Both players featured for the full 90 minutes in their midweek Cup victory, with Gatt having a particularly strong two-goal performance.
They have a good chance to continue their momentum against a struggling Haugesund team which is sitting next to last in the Tippeligaen standings, although has gained half of their eight points in their last two games.
Molde are fighting it out at the opposite end of the standings, currently sitting in fourth, although just two points off of the league lead. A win could thrust them to the top spot, and would continue their impressive run during which they have won four of five across all competitions.
Molde are reporting a full squad, however Haugesund have a number of players out. Keeper Per Morten Kristianssen, defenders Ole Kristian Kråkmo, Minke Joakim Nilsen and Are Tron Seth along with midfielders Juska Savolainen, Jacob Sørensen Jarle Steinsland and Eric Mæland are all expected to be out.
Start Kristiansand - Stabaek IF
Mikkel Diskerud will be in Stabaek's starting eleven on Sunday when they head to the southern tip of Denmark to take on Start Kristiansand.
They were dealt a huge blow to their egos on Wednesday night when they were handily knocked out of the Norwegian Cup by second-tier team Hønefoss, however this could work out well for the team as they look to be contenders for the Tippligaen title and can now focus solely on that lone objective.
Prior to Wednesday's loss, they had generally been solid in the league, with four wins in their last six games being enough to pull them up to third place in the league, just one point off the top spot.
A leaky defense which has conceded a league's worst 18 goals through eight games could be their downfall, particularly against a Start team averaging just under two goals per game, enough for second best in the league.
Start are mired in a slump in league play, only picking up one point in their last four games, and falling to the bottom half of the standings.
Start will be missing winger Espen Børufsen due to an ankle problem, and possibly additionally defender Avni Pepas who missed their midweek game with stomach issue.
Stabaek are reporting no injuries or suspensions.
Alta IF - Ham-Kam
Jonathan Borrajo should get the start at right back for Ham-Kam on Sunday when they look for a second straight win on their visit to promotion-hunting Alta IF.
After starting the season in poor fashion, Ham-Kam finally notched their first win after seven games with a 1-0 home win over Hønefoss last weekend.
The team's lack of attack has been at fault, managing to net a paltry six goals through seven games. To their credit, Borrajo and his fellow defenders have kept the team from falling too far into oblivion, holding opponents to just over one goal per game.
Alta have had a rough last two weeks, being knocked out of the Norwegian Cup on penalties in the midweek, and failing to with either of their two league games prior to that.
Neither team are reporting any injuries or suspensions.
Hønefoss BK - Strømmen IF
Steve Clark and Hønefoss will hope to continue riding the wave of momentum which swept them over Stabaek in cup action as they welcome sixth-place Strømmen IF on Sunday.
After netting an early goal against Stabaek, Hønefoss forward Kenneth Di Vita Jensen will look for a start at the top of the attack for the team.
The 3-1 victory for Hønefoss on Wednesday masked what has otherwise been a downwards spiral for the team, with a pair of narrow losses and a draw in their previous three Adeccoligaen contests dropping them into tenth place.
Clark has been at the base of solid defense which has allowed just five goals through seven games, consistently putting in performances which have established himself as one of the top keepers in the division.
Both teams should have full squads for the game.
Joseph Bendik will likely watch from the bench as backup keeper on Sunday when Sogndal host Valerenga
Kyle Helton could once again be called into late subsitute action for Mjøndalen on Sunday when they host Løv-Ham, however Rhett Bernstein is out for the season with a knee injury.
Colin Burns will be on Sandefjord's bench on Sunday when they welcome Randaberg IL.