DAVID SMITH - Saturday, November 26, 2011
The Norwegian Tippeligaen season comes to a close on Sunday, with Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek heading to the capital to take on Valerenga and Molde heading to Joseph Bendik and Sogndal.
Sogndal IL - Molde FK
Joseph Bendik could once again earn the start in Sogndal's nets in place of injured Kenneth Udjus on Sunday when the team hosts league champions Molde FK.
Josh Gatt is sidelined with a leg injury, however American U-20 defender Sean Cunningham is available and will be hoping to make his league debut for the team.
Sogndal were shut out last weekend on their trip to Odd Grenland in a narrow 1-0 loss, however other results around league eliminated them from the relegation fight, assuring another season in the division.
They will be happy that they enter the game against the champions with their fate already decided, as Molde have continued to be unbeatable, even after having clinched the title.
They rolled over Sarpsborg by a 3-1 margin last weekend, and have not lost a game since early-August.
Apart from Gatt, neither team is reporting any suspension or injury related absences for the game.
Valerenga Oslo - Stabaek IF
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek will close out a disappointing season on Sunday when they head to Oslo to take on Valerenga.
With the winter transfer window around the corner and a move for the young American having been long rumored, Diskerud will line up for perhaps the last time in Stabaek's midfield on Sunday as they to end 2011 on a positive note.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, they are guaranteed to finish a second straight time in the bottom half of the standings, a particularly bitter pill to swallow this year after having flirted with European qualification as recently as two months ago.
With only a single victory since mid-August, the team has dropped like a rock through the standings, and have simply looked increasingly flat as the season has neared its end.
They will be facing a Valerenga team that saw their last chance for European placement fly out the window after last weekend's loss to Strømsgodset, essentially giving both teams nothing but pride and bragging rights to play for.
Stabaek are reporting no absences while Valerenga will be without defender Aleksander Solli, who suffered a broken leg in training during the week.