PREVIEW: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
Thursday, April 7, 2011
The yanks in Norway kick off their action on Friday night with Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek hosting Valerenga while Josh Gatt and Molde seek their first win of the season on Sunday at Viking.

Stabaek – Valerenga

Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek face one of the Eliteserien's best as Valerenga come to town on Friday night.

Diskerud will start at his usual position of attacking midfielder for the Baerum club who were wiped away 0-7 by Lillestrom in their home opener three weeks ago.

But Stabaek managed to bounce back last weekend and recorded an upset 1-2 win at Rosenborg.

Valerenga are out of the gates quickly this season with two decisive wins both by a 2-0 scoreline and a win at Telenor Arena will put everyone on notice that Martin Andresen's club might be the team to beat this year in light of Rosenborg's dip in play.

Stabaek are still without starting goalkeeper Jon Knudsen due to injury while Isaac Boakye will be a gametime decision for Valerenga.

Sarpsborg – Sogndal

It will be a battle of two newly promoted teams on Sunday when Joseph Bendik and Sogndal pay a visit to Sarpsborg.

Bendik is coming off of a rough match last week for Sogndal where he allowed four goals.

In order to clear away any doubts that he should remain the number one goalkeeper, he will have to put in a top notch performance at Sarpsborg Stadion.

Both clubs earned automatic promotion last year from the 1. Division to the Eliteserien however Sarpsborg's has shown to be the more capable team thus far.

Sunday's hosts drilled Molde 3-0 in their opener and fell 4-2 to Haugesund in week two.

Sogndal have a full squad available while Sarpsborg will be missing Hugues Wembangomo, Tobias Henanger and Michael Rĝn due to injury.

Viking – Molde

Josh Gatt and Molde are on the hunt for their first win of the season as they take aim at Viking in a Sunday encounter at Viking Stadion in Stavanger.

Gatt received the start in Molde's 2-2 draw with Tromso and assisted on a goal so it stands to reason that head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will slot the American up top at forward in his starting 11.

Any dreams of appearing in the Under-20 World Cup this summer have fallen by the wayside for Gatt after the US' stunning 2-1 loss to Guatemala on Wednesday night.

No longer burdened by that distraction, Gatt can turn all of his attention to his club team which has just a single point through two rounds.

Viking are not reporting any major injuries while Molde will be without Borre Steenslid.

HamKam – Ranheim

HamKam fans will get their first up-close look at Jonathan Borrajo as HamKam welcome in Ranheim in a 1. Division contest on Sunday at Briskeby Gressbane in Hamar.

Borrajo started in last week's season opening draw at Asker and is expected to be in the starting 11 once again for the HamKam defense.

The road draw for the newly-promoted club was a positive way to start the season and they hope to continue that momentum against Ranheim who slipped past Lov-Ham 1-0 last week.

HamKam will have a full squad while Ranheim will be missing Pal Andre Helland, Osei Oviasu, Mads Reginiussen and Christian Saether-Moen.

Honefoss – Hodd

Steve Clark, Kenneth Di Vita Jensen and Honefoss open their 1. Division home calendar with a tricky test versus surprise early leaders Hodd.

Clark will start in goal and Di Vita Jensen will likely be up front of the hosts who gutted out a scoreless draw last week versus Sandefjord.

The match pits two teams who were not even in the 1. Division last season as Honefoss were relegated from the Eliteserien and Hodd earned promotion from the 2. Division.

While much is expected of Honefoss this season, there has not been a lot of buzz surrounding Hodd.

However that all changed last week when head coach Lars Arne Nilsen boldly predicted that his team would beat Bodo/Glimt which they did in dominating fashion winning 3-0.

It sets up an early clash of two promotion aspirants at AXA Arena on Sunday.

Honefoss are expected to field a full squad while Hodd are without Thomas Lid Kleppe and Vegard Heltne.
AKA Arena, Honefoss

Notes

Kyle Helton will hope to be healthy for Mjondalen's home debut versus Nybergsund. Teammate Rhett Bernstein will miss for the hosts due to suspension.

Colin Burns will be the backup goalkeeper during Sandefjord's visit to Bodo/Glimt.