MATHEW WAGNER - Friday, June 29, 2012
Josh Gatt and Molde continue their title defense after a month layoff, while Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham and Stabæk ride a two-game winning streak to Brann.
Molde FK - Odd Grenland
After almost a month hiatus, Molde returns to Tippeligaen play when Odd Grenland comes to visit.
American winger Josh Gatt should start somewhere on the right side for Molde.
Despite a slow start to the season, Molde went on a six-game unbeaten streak going into the break, reeling off five straight wins to leave the team in second place.
Molde also has the best home record in the Tippeligaen, having won all six games at home.
Odd Grenland come into the game in the opposite direction as Molde. The team has a three-game winless streak, including a 4-1 loss to last-place Stabæk.
Molde will be without Emmanuel Ekpo and Børre Steenslid due to long-term injuries. Odd Grenland could be without Lars-Kristian Eriksen and Morten Fevang.
Strømsgodset IF - Hønefoss BK
Hønefoss face one of its toughest tests of the season when it travels to first-place Strømsgodset Saturday.
American goalkeeper Steve Clark should start between the sticks for Hønefoss, while forward Kenneth di Vita Jensen should make the lineup.
Hønefoss has been one of the biggest surprises of the season, sitting in sixth place through 12 games after winning promotion from the Norwegian first division last season.
Hønefoss' opponent, Strømsgodset, uses offense to get its wins. The team has recorded the most goals in the league so far with 24. Strømsgodset is also undefeated in its last 14 games at home, a stretching going back to last season.
This shouldn't scare Hønefoss, though. The team has only lost two games away from home this season.
Hønefoss is not reporting any injuries. Strømsgodset will be without Peter Kovacs because of yellow card accumulation and leading-scorer Adama Diomande because of injury.
Brann Bergen - Stabæk IF
Stabæk look to continue its turnaround when it travels to Brann Saturday.
Americans Ricardo Clark and Sean Cunningham should start for Stabæk at central midfield and central defense, respectively.
Stabæk's season looked hopeless, going winless in its first 10 games. The team experienced a nine-game stretch of losses and the death of a star player.
In its last two games, however, Stabæk managed to turn things around, winning both games. The team still sits in last place but has the chance to skip out of the bottom with a win.
Brann also started its season off in horrid fashion, picking up only three points in its first six games, but three wins in its last six has the team on the rise.
Stabæk is not reporting any injuries. Brann could be without Birkir Sævarsson and Kristoffer Barmen.
American Sebastian Troupe should start in defense for Bærum when the team takes on Kongsvinger.
American defender duo Kyle Helton and Rhett Bernstein should play when Mjøndalen plays Strømmen.