PREVIEW: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Eliteserien play resumes following the international break for World Cup friendlies, with Mikkel Diskerud and Stabæk taking on Sandefjord on Sunday while Hunter Freeman and Start host Viking on Monday.
Sandefjord - Stabæk
Following three Eliteserien wins in a row, Mikkel Diskerud and Stabæk travel south to take on a last placed Sandefjord team at Komplett Arena on Sunday.
Diskerud will start in the midfield and do his best to continue Stabæk's high scoring streak as of late. With 18 goals this season, Jan Jonsson's offense has scored eight of those over the past three Eliteserien games alone.
After the first third of the season in which Stabæk sank through the rankings faster than quicksand, they seem to have returned to their 2008 Championship play.
While the game against Sandefjord should be an easy win for the visitors, it will be interesting to see how the team responds to the recent news regarding coach Jonsson.
Rumors were confirmed this week when Jonsson explained he will not be renewing his contract with the team for the 2011 season.
The last time the two teams met Stabaek beat Sandefjord 3-1 in the 30th round of the 2009 season.
Start - Viking
Hunter Freeman and Knut Tørum's IK Start hope to return to their early season winning ways as they host Viking on Monday at Sør Arena.
Freeman will start at right back without fellow American, Clarence Goodson by his side. After impressing at the US training camp in New Jersey, US head coach Bob Bradley selected Goodson as one of the final 23 to travel to South Africa for the World Cup.
Following a fast moving start to the 2010 season, Torum's squad has slowed their tempo winning just one of five Eliteserien matches over the past month, a 3-0 home-win over Kongsvinger.
Stalled at eighth in the rankings, Start will look to their young midfielder, Christer Kleiven to jump start a winning streak and lead the attack. Kleiven, just twenty-two, is second in the league in scoring with six goals over 13 games.
Start's opponent, Viking, boast the fifth highest league scorer, Patrik Ingelsten and sit two places higher in the rankings.
Torum will be without Branislav Milicevic, Borgersen Bård and possibly Solomon Owello whom suffered a hamstring injury during training Monday.
The last time these two teams met Start overcame Viking 3-2 in an early preseason match-up back in March.
Honefoss keeper Steve Clark continues to battle for the starting spot after a quad injury forced him to relinquish the position to Thomas Solvoll while Kenneth Di Vita Jensen hopes to make an offensive impact as a potential second half sub against Odd.
Colin Burns will watch from the bench as Sarpsborg hosts Bodø/Glimt in 1. Division action.
Sogndal's Joe Bednik will be the backup goalkeeper in their home match up versus Løm-Ham.
FC Lyn's Tyrel Lacey is still nursing his knee to heath following an off season surgery and will support Lyn from the sidelines as they struggle to climb from the bottom of the league standings. Lyn travels to the top of Norway to face Jay Needham's old club, Alta.