PREVIEW: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
MATHEW WAGNER - Thursday, October 4, 2012
Josh Gatt could return to Molde's starting lineup, while Kyle Helton, Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen's automatic promotion fate is up in the air against Villyan Bijev and Start.

Molde FK - Sandnes Ulf

Josh Gatt could make his return to Molde's starting lineup after over a month against Sandnes Ulf.

The American winger last started a game for Molde Sept. 2 against Brann, but he played nine minutes in Molde's 2-0 win over Stuttgart Thursday. He seems to have fully recovered from his recent hamstring injury.

He comes back with the Norwegian title race heating up. Molde has a one-point lead over Strømsgodset and a two-point lead over Rosenborg with six games to go.

Sandnes Ulf is on the other side of the standings, sitting in 15th place with 22 points. The team is two points out of safety, behind both Sogndal and Fredrikstad.

Neither team is reporting any injuries at this time.

Brann Bergen - Hønefoss BK

Steve Clark and Hønefoss look to cement their mid-standings position against Brann Monday.

Neither team really has much to play for, considering neither can qualify for Europe nor is a relegation fight likely. Hønefoss currently sits in ninth place with 31 points and has a seven-point cushion between the team and Fredrikstad in 14th place.

Brann is in sixth place, but with Rosenborg 10 points ahead, European competition might be out of reach.

Hønefoss could be without leading scorer Riku Riski, while Brann is not reporting any injuries at this time.

Start Kristiansand - Mjøndalen IF

Still in the running for automatic promotion, Kyle Helton, Rhett Bernstein and Mjøndalen face yet another tough challenge against Villyan Bijev and start.

Bernstein and Helton should start somewhere on the backline for Mjøndalen, while Bijev will be on Start's bench.

Mjøndalen's long unbeaten streak came to an end last weekend against Sarpsborg, and because of the loss, the team dropped into fourth place. That still keeps the team in the running for the promotion playoff, but the team is still only two points out of second place.

Start, meanwhile, almost has promotion sealed, sitting in first place with a seven-point lead over Sarpsborg. Helton and Bernstein will have their hands full against this offense, with Start pouring 61 goals in the Norwegian second division.

Neither team is reporting any injuries at this time.

Strømmen IF - Ullensaker/Kisa IL

Kenneth di Vita Jensen and Ullensaker/Kisa hope to build off last week's win against Strømmen Sunday.

Ullensaker/Kisa fell to ninth place after three-straight losses, but a win over Ranheim last week stopped that free fall.

Speaking of free falls, Strømmen has struggled recently. The team currently rides a nine-game winless streak, with six of those games ending in losses, and due to this streak, Strømmen is in 13th place and in the last relegation spot.

Neither team is reporting any injuries at this time.

Bærum SK - Alta IF

Sebastian Troupe and Bærum continue their farewell tour in the Norwegian second division against Alta in a matchup of futility Sunday.

After a few weeks out of last place, Bærum returned to its usual place in the standings with its 3-1 loss to HamKam. Allowing a league-high 62 goals, it's not hard to see why Bærum will spend only one year in the Adeccoligaen.

The only other team that could feel Bærum's pain is Alta. The team sits in 15th place, two points ahead of Bærum in the standings, and its offense is the worst in the league.

Neither team is reporting any injuries at this time.

Notes

Midfielder Mikkel Diskerud will be a game-time decision for Rosenborg in its game against Odd Grenland Sunday.

Forward Chad Barrett should make for the bench for Valerenga's game Friday against Strømsgodset.