DAVID SMITH - Sunday, June 12, 2011
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will try to move atop the Tippeligaen standings while Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam are shooting for a fourth straight Adecooligaen win on their trip to Kyle Helton's Mjøndalen.
Molde FK - Start Kristiansand
Josh Gatt and Sean Cunningham will hope to see minutes on the field for Molde on Monday when they welcome IK Start in their return from the international break.
The two-week pause without any competitive games came at a perfect time for the squad of Ole Gunnar Solskjær, as they put on a truly awful performance in their last outing, losing 5-0 at home to an otherwise mediocre Haugesund team.
The loss came at the heels of a three-game unbeaten run across league and cup competition, and the team will hope to return to their winning ways against a struggling Start team which has failed to win in their last five league outings.
Start's woes were neatly summed up in their final game before going on break, one in which they held a 1-0 lead over Stabaek at the half, only to collapse in the final 45 minutes on the way to a 4-2 loss.
Their poor run has dropped them to within one point of the relegation zone, and with sleeping giants Rosenborg one of the few teams below them in the standings, they will need to turn the ship around or face a return to the second tier.
Start will be without suspended defender Rolf Daniel Vikstøl, otherwise neither team is reporting any absences.
Stabaek IF - Aalesunds FK
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will have a run at first place on their minds on Monday when they host fifth-place Aalesunds FK on Monday.
While failing to really take flight in league play, Stabaek have nevertheless done well enough to keep within reach of the top of the division.
Their come-from-behind win over Start before the international break left them just one point behind Tippeligaen joint leaders Tromsø and Strømsgodset, and with both of those teams hitting the road on Monday, a win over fourth-place Aalesunds could see them end the round atop the standings.
Standing in their way is an always-strong Aalesund team, who are themselves only three points off the league leaders, and will be hoping to pull off a shocker in their quest to challenge for league honors.
The participation of Swedish midfielder Johan Andersson is still a question for Stabaek while forward Gilles Mbang Ondo could be rested after playing international duty.
Aalesunds have the Jamaican midfielder pair of Jason Morrison and Demar Phillips unavailable as they compete in the Gold Cup, but otherwise report no absences.
Hønefoss BK - FK Bodø/Glimt
Steve Clark will be in goal for Hønefoss on Monday night when they welcome Bodø/Glimt in Adeccoligaen action, which Kenneth Di Vita Jensen will hope that a sub-par performance last weekend doesn't cost him his starting role.
The spotlight on the Adeccoligaen, which continued play through the international break, was kind to Clark and his teammates, as they went on the road to upend league-leading Bryne to break free of a four-game winless run.
Prior to Monday's game, they have the exact same record as Bodø/Glimt, each team having a trio of wins, losses and draw, with Hønefoss's superior goal differential giving them the edge.
As the difference between either end of the standings is tiny, a positive outcome could go as far as to push Hønefoss into the top four of the league, although a loss could see them fall into the drop zone.
Both teams should have full squads for the game.
Mjøndalen IF - Ham-Kam
Jonathan Borrajo will get the start in the Ham-Kam's defense on Monday while Kyle Helton will hope to see substitute minutes for Mjøndalen when the two teams meet at Mjøndalen's Nedre Eiker Stadion.
Having looked entirely dead in the water after going winless through their first six games, a three game winning streak over which Ham-Kam has outscored their opposition by a 7-1 margin has thrust them into the upper half of the standings.
Borrajo has been a central figure in this recent run, helping the back line limit their opposition while showing his ability to launch dangerous crosses to spur the team's attack.
They will have high hopes of running their streak to four against a Mjøndalen team which has disappointed recently, scoring just one goal in their last three league games while picking up just two points.
Mjøndalen forward Kyle Helton has begun to see second-half substitute minutes for the team in recent weeks after returning from injury, and will be one of the first players in line should the team look for a second-half boost on the attack.
Mjøndalen continue to be without defender Daniel H Reinoso with a knee injury and keeper Anders Larsen who is out until june with an elbow injury, along with American Rhett Bernstein who is out for the season with an ACL injury.
Ham-Kam are currently reporting no injuries or suspensions.
Sogndal backup keeper Joseph Bendik was an unused substitute on Friday when the team visited Brann Bergen for a 2-0 loss on Friday.
Sandefjord backup keeper Colin Burns will watch his team's home game against Bryne from the bench on Sunday.