MEGHAN BRENNAN - Thursday, April 15, 2010
Steve Clark and Honefoss seek their first win when they host Viking while Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek look to return to their winning ways versus Kongsvinger
Honefoss - Viking
Honefoss' Steve Clark will make his third consecutive start in net and Kenneth Di Vita Jensen may be asked to step up for the attack, as they host Viking FK on Saturday at AKA Arena.
After a difficult Eliteserien debut, conceding five goals against Haugesund two weeks ago, Clark has settled into the starting keeper position and looks more comfortable in net.
He will do his best lead the defensive effort with a shutout against Viking and aide in Honefoss' quest for an Eliteserien win.
At the opposite end of the field Di Vita Jensen may play a bigger offensive role than he is used to as a second half subtitute.
A hamstring injury to striker Madiou Konate, in the first few minutes of the 1-2 loss to Kongsvinger last week, leaves a hole in the front line which may be filled by the Norwegian-American.
If Di Vita Jensen, Davy Angan and the rest of the Honefoss attack can overcome their difficulties finishing this season, Saturday's match may be a good opportunity to earn their first win in front of a home crowd.
Their opponent, Viking FK, ended their mid week match up on Wednesday against Tromso with a defensive mishap.
Left defender, Indridi Sigurdsson, passed a perfect ball back to the feet of oncoming Tromso attacker George Mourad, who easily tapped it in for the 1-1 tie.
The matchup between two teams with equally slow starts could go either way, but may favor the home squad if Viking's wounds from Wednesday haven't healed.
In addition to Konate, Honefoss may be without Kamal Saaliti Saturday. An injury from last week's Kongsvinger match leaves him as a game time decision. Viking will have a full lineup of starters available."
Stromsgodset - Start
Hunter Freeman, Clay Goodson and Start take their offensive exploits on the road when they travel to Drammen on Sunday to do battle with Stromsgodset at Marienlyst Stadion.
After recently toying with aligning the Americans defenders together on the back line, head coach Knut Torum has reverted back to his customary slotting of Freeman and Goodson as right back and left-center back respectively.
Goodson is coming off arguably his best performance of the young season in Wednesday's 1-1 home draw with Odd. The former FC Dallas man earned Man of the Match honors for his stellar play.
Torum will be leaning on his May-December pairing of Christer Kleiven and Ole Martin Arst. The 22 year old has matched the five goals that the 35 year old Arst has tallied on the campaign as part of Start's offensive-minded approach on the field.
Stromsgodset were the revelation in the early weeks of the season occupying the top spot in the Eliteserien standings.
A recent drop-off now has head coach Ronny Deila's club in sixth place with 10 points but youth is definitely on the side of Sunday's hosts, including Delia himself who is one year younger than Arst.
Goodson and Freeman will have to account for 19 year old attackers Marcus Pederson and Jo Inge Berget who each have four goals on the season.
Lars Saetra will be the lone absence for Stromsgodset while Start will be missing Geir Ludvig Fevang, Espen Knudsen and Petter Bruer Hanssen.
Stabaek - Kongsvinger
Stabaek with Norwegian-American Mikkel Diskerud are in need of three points and a home turf win Sunday against Kongsvinger.
Since the lone victory in the season opener against Odd Grenland, Stabaek has failed to earn the valuable three points that accompany a win.
They find themselves holding the 11th position in the Eliteserien after a third tie in five games, Saturday versus Lillestrom.
Telenor Arena's visiting squad Kongsvinger, faced the same opponent, Lillestrom, Wedneday which ended in an identical 0-0 result. In addition to the tie, they earned three points in their 2-1 win over Honefoss last weekend.
Four points over two games allowed Kongsvinger to climb one spot in the rankings, they now sit at 14th.
Unfortunately, Kongsvinger's recent success story doesn't have the happiest of endings. Following the win over Honefoss, head coach Trond Amudsen resigned due to differences with the club.
Assistant coach Oyvind Eide is will temporarily fill the position until a more permanent replacement is found.
Diskerud and Stabaek will look to exploit Kongsvinger's coaching instability in hopes of earning a much desired second win of the season.
Tyrel Lacey hopes to recover soon from his knee injury setback as Lyn travel to Strommen in 1. Division action.
Sarpsborg goalkeeper Colin Burns will be the backup netminder versus Sogndal on Sunday.