MEGHAN BRENNAN - Thursday, July 15, 2010
A Stabæk squad, riddled with injuries will travel to Bergen to face Brann, Sunday while Start plays host to Eliteserien powerhouse Aalesund.
Brann - Stabæk
Following their first loss in over a month, Mikkel Diskerud and Stabæk hit the road and head east to face Brann on Sunday.
Dikerud will likely start in center midfield and will be relied upon by head coach Jan Jonsson to contribute an offense that is plagued with injury. Strikers; Torstein Anderson Aase, Daniel Nannskog, midfielders; Johan Andersson, Tor Marius Gromstad and Pontus Farenrud are all out with injury. Even defensemen Morten Skjønskberg will be sidelined for the round 17 game.
But Stabæk is no stranger to injury, as they have battled against it all season. And until last week they have prevailed, boasting five straight weeks without a loss.
Head coach Jan Jonsson hopes the 2-2 Europa Cup qualifier Thursday, against Belarus Premier League team Dnepr Mogilev erased the lasting memories of a second half collapse during last weekends 2-3 loss to Viking.
Stabæk currently sits at seventh in the Eliteserien League rankings while their hosts occupy the 12th position. Brann will be without midfielders Erik Bakke and Petter Vaagan Moen due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
The last time these two teams met was during the 11th round of play this season when Stabæk secured a 2-1 home win.
Start - Aalesund
The American defensive duo of Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman will be put to the test Sunday when they face Aalesund's strong offense at Sør Arena.
Goodson and Freeman will start at center and right back respectively and will have to fend off league leading scorer, Tor Hogne Aarøy.
Although Start boasts their own high scoring striker Ole Martin Årst, he was unable to play during last weekend's Eliteserien 2-1 win over Sandefjord and is a question mark for Sunday's game.
Thankfully Knut Tørum has other options on offense like young forward Christer Kleiven and can even rely on defenders like Goodson as he was responsible for one of last weekend's goals.
Aalesund currently sits at the top of the league rankings in 4th and defeated Stabæk 2-0 during this seasons ninth round of play.
Steve Clark will be the reserve keeper for Hønefoss' away match versus Viking while young Kenneth DiVita Jensen hope to make a second half appearance.
In 1. Divison action, Joe Bednik will watch from the bench as reserve keeper when league leading Sogndal takes on Follo. A fourth placed Sarpsborg with backup keeper Colin Burns travel to Strømmen for the 14th round of play.