DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam will try to stretch their winning streak to five against last-place Randaberg while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will try to stake their place at the top of the Tippeligaen standings.
Strømsgodset IF - Molde FK
Fresh off a big win over the weekend, Josh Gatt and Molde face a tough challenge when they pay a visit to second-place Strømsgodset on Thursday.
Both Gatt and Cunningham will in all likelihood begin the game on the bench and hope to see time on the field as substitutes.
Molde reeled off an impressive 5-1 demolition of Start in their last game, and a result which kept them within reach of the league's upper echelon.
They can take a huge step towards a top three spot as they will face the league's current second-place team, and could jump several spots up from their own fifth-place standing should they manage to gain all three points on the road.
Strømsgodset are coming off a pair of strong defensive performances, winning their last two in league play by equal 1-0 scorelines. They have one of the better defenses in the Tippeligaen, allowing just over one goal per game through their first nine.
Both teams should have a full squad for the game.
Sarpsborg 08 FF - Stabaek IF
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will try to wipe away the memory of their recent tough home loss when they pay a visit to ninth-place Sarpsborg 08 on Thursday.
Stabaek suffered embarrassment in front of their home crowd on Monday night, failing to gain a footing against visiting Aalesunds to fall by a 2-1 score.
This dropped them out of the top three into fourth, however an incredibly competitive race amongst the upper six teams means they are still just one point off the top spot in the division.
Sarpsborg are also coming into the game on a slightly down note, as they gave up a lead over Fredrikstad in the final minutes of their previous game and were forced to settle for a draw. This was their second straight without a win, which has dropped them into the bottom half of the standings.
The participation of Swedish midfielder Johan Andersson is still a question for Stabaek. Sarpsborg will definitely be missing injured midfielder Tobias Henanger, while midfield Michael Røn and defender Magnar Ødegaard are still question marks.
Ham-Kam - Randaberg IL
Jonathan Borrajo and a hot Ham-Kam team will fully expect to extend their four-game winning streak on Thursday afternoon when they welcome Adeccoligaen cellar-dwellers Randaberg IL.
Ham-Kam have without warning become the hottest team in the Norwegian second tier, running off four straight wins on the bounce to jump all the way from the relegation places up to fifth place.
They were fully in control for the duration of their recent 3-1 victory over Mjøndalen on Monday, and will hope to have an even easier time against a remarkably poor Randaberg team that is looking almost sure to suffer relegation at season's end.
Randaberg are with only a single win from their first ten games, and with a seven point gap to safety above them to go along with the league's worst -21 goal differential, Ham-Kam should have few problems to run their streak to five games.
Ham-Kam are reporting no absences from their squad for the game, while Randaberg will be missing Tor Omar Sande after the defender picked up a pair of yellow cards on Monday night.
Hønefoss BK - Nygergsund IL
Steve Clark and Hønefoss will try to get back to their tight defensive play on Thursday when they are paid a visit by Nybergsund IL.
Hønefoss suffered what was for them a lapse on defense in Monday-night play, allowing a pair of goals, although eventually coming out 3-2 winners over Bodø/Glimt.
Prior to that game, they had only conceded a paltry total of seven through nine games, and still rank as the second-toughest team to score on in the Adeccoligaen.
The division has yet to see any clear frontrunners break away from the pack, surprisingly with no teams having managed to win more than four games through the first ten rounds.
This leave Hønefoss, who have only managed to take 15 points through ten games to reach sixth, just three points back from the league lead, and a good chance to jump several places should they pick up the win against Nybergsund.
Neither team is reporting any missing players for the game.
Strømmen IF - Mjøndalen IF
Kyle Helton will hope to keep his starting spot for Mjøndalen on Thursday as they travel to face seventh-place Strømmen IF.
The whole team put forth an awful display on Monday night, falling on the wrong side of a 5-1 score on their trip to Molde.
Helton started that game, although he was pulled after just over an hour, and will hope that this won't damage his chances to keep a spot in the team's starting eleven.
Apart from the huge loss, they have been largely mediocre in the last month, failing to win in their last five across all competitions and slowly falling to their current tenth-place position in the league.
Strømmen have also been rather inconsistent lately, winning just two of their last eight, with only one point from their last two games.
Mjøndalen continue to be without defender Daniel H Reinoso with a knee injury and keeper Anders Larsen who is out until later this month with an elbow injury, along with American Rhett Bernstein who is out for the season with an ACL injury.
Strømmen are likely missing defender Fredrik Nilsson for the game due to a slight knock, along with forward Trond Haugstad and defender Frode Bjørnevik, both recovering from injury.
Joseph Bendik will be on the bench for Sogndal when they host fifth-place FK Haugesund on Thursday.
Colin Burns will watch from Sandefjord's bench as backup keeper on Thursday when they visit Asker.