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A guide to every team in Eliteserien Fantasy 2019

Understanding the wider context of Norwegian’s top division is crucial to playing Eliteserien Fantasy this season, especially for those trying it for the first time in 2019.

There are 16 teams in the country’s top flight and, as we have already mentioned in earlier preview articles, it is a very hard one to predict.

In this article, we’ve got everything you need to know about all of the Eliteserien clubs and what we can expect from them.

Rosenborg

After clinching the 2018 title, Rosenborg have now won the league four years in a row, and have generally been the dominant force in Norwegian football over the last three decades. The defending champions have won the league 19 times in the last 27 years, including 13 years in a row from 1992 to 2004.

Rosenborg have the biggest budget by far and are expected to win the league again in 2019.

They had a pretty bad season by their standards last year, but they still won the league mainly because none of the other teams managed to do particularly well over the full season.

Since last year, Rosenborg have appointed a new manager in Erik Horneland, who was in charge of Haugesund for the last two years.

At Haugesund, his team has been fairly compact at the back, but they were still one of the more exciting attack teams with a lot of passes in the final third. This is a big contrast to Rosenborg from last season, who pressed a lot, conceded a lot of shots and were fairly direct in their style.

Hornelands demands a lot from his player. He has already ruled out Nicklas Bendtner (11,5) playing as a winger, like we saw a lot last season, because of his low work rate.

In fact, Bendtner might face serious competition from Alexander Søderlund (10,5) this season, as he is close to the definition of a striker Horneland likes. Bendtner is a player that’s more technically gifted than Søderlund, so it will be interesting to see how that one turns out.

Samuel Adegbenro (10,0) is also working hard to adapt to the new style. He was recently talking to the media about how he’s used to having a free role and he won’t get that now due to Horneland’s rigid style.

Another potential effect of Horneland as a manager is goalkeeper André Hansen (7,0m) losing his appeal. Only one team conceded more shots than Rosenborg last season, and Hansen was a big part of the reason why they still kept so many clean sheets. It wouldn’t be surprising if Rosenborg conceded fewer shots this seasons, which could lead to Hansen enjoying fewer save points and potential for bonus.

Molde

In 2018, Molde had a terrible start to the season, but for the second half of the campaign they played the best football and were arguably the best team in the league.

We all know Ole Gunnar Solskjær is gone until at least the summer, and to be honest, it doesn’t look like he’s coming back.

Erling Moe, who was Solskjær’s assistant, has taken charge at the Aker Stadion since the former Manchester United striker’s departure.

However, I don’t think that will make much of a difference to their chances, and I expect to see more of the same this season from MFK.

In fact, Molde should be able to challenge Rosenborg for the title this season. They have managed to keep most of their key players, and have used the funds they got for Solskjær and Red Ball Salzburg signing striker Erling Braut Håland to strengthen their squad even more. The squad has been trimmed ahead of this season, but Molde have still improved the overall quality in the squad.

I am expecting them to keep playing attractive attacking football with plenty of points potential for their midfielders and main striker Leke James (10,5).

Arguably the best signing of any Eliteserien club so far is defender Martin Bjørnbak (6,0). He is widely expected to greatly improve Molde’s defence ahead of the new campaign.

Brann

Brann challenged Rosenborg for the title for most of last season, but faded in the end and finished third. However, I still expect to see Brann play a big part in Eliteserien Fantasy in 2019.

The defenders are still the most attractive options in Bergen, even with Gilli Rolantsson (6,5) being a midfielder.

Lars Arne Nilsen plays a defensive, pressing style for the most part, although Brann will probably be in a position where they are expected to dominate possession more often than before.

The big question mark at Brann is the goalkeeper. They weren’t able to sign Hannover’s Samuel Sahin-Radlinger permanently and have signed two new shot-stoppers during the winter.

Eirik Holmen Johansen (6,0) has arrived from Sandefjord, but he’s been far from impressive during the pre-season and might face more competition than expected from veteran goalkeeper Håkon Opdal (5,5).

Brann have made a few quality additions to their central midfield this winter, in Petter Strand (6,5) joining from Molde and Kristoffer Løkberg (6,5) trading Ranheim in for a move down south.

This gives Nilsen lots of options, and more of a headache for us Fantasy managers.

I personally don’t think any of the midfielders produce enough to justify their price tags, although there might be some budget options available if they can nail down a place in the starting XI.

Daouda Bamba (9,5m) is probably the go-to option outside the defence, with close to no competition after Steffen Lie Skålevik (8,0) was sold to Sarpsborg.

Vålerenga

Oslo-based Vålerenga are traditionally one of the biggest teams in the league, and as the capital team, are widely supported. In the last few years, they have been disappointing, and haven’t finished higher than sixth in the last seven seasons.

There are reasons for optimism ahead of the new season though, after some potentially good signings during the winter.

In defence, Vålerenga have signed former Rosenborg centre back Johan Lædre Bjørdal (5,0) and versatile right-back Efrain Juarez (5,0), who has 39 caps for Mexico.

In midfield, they have signed Herolind Shala (8,5), who was a great Fantasy option for relegated side Start last season, and Deyver Vega (6,5) from Brann.

Up front, they have replaced Sam Johnson, who joined Real Salt Lake, with Rosenborg striker Matthis Vilhjalmson (9,5). If he can stay injury free, Vålerenga might have a top striker there.

Sarpsborg

Sarpsborg had a strange season in 2018. They went all the way to the Europa League group stages after an impressive run of results in the qualifiers and followed up with a few impressive games and results in the group stages.

However, their Eliteserien form was less impressive, with just 41 points from 30 games.

I’m expecting them to have a better domestic campaign this year, especially as they will have no European fixtures to focus on.

Although Sarpsborg didn’t have the best season defensively last year, there is hope they could get back to the form of previous years and give us some decent Fantasy options at the back.

There might be some alternatives both in midfield and up front, but like the 2018 campaign, they have a big squad with multiple options for quite a few positions.

They have lost a few key men like Joonas Tamm, Joachim Jørgensen, Patrick Mortensen, Tobias Heintz, Rashad Muhammed and a few fringe players, but have also added a few interesting players.

Nicolai Næss (5,0) has joined in defence, Ismael Coulibaly (6,0) looks like he can offer good value up front and could even be the new Krepin Diatta for them. The aforementioned Skålevik and Pablo Arboine (5,0) are also now on the books up front and in defence respectively.

The rest of the bunch

A few of the other teams probably deserve more than a single paragraph, but the five mentioned above are probably the teams expected to finish at the top end of the Eliteserien in 2019.

Outside of that, Haugesund have done well in recent seasons and still have a few quality players, but there are major worries about their defence as they have sold their main goalkeeper Per-Kristian Bråtveit to Swedish club Djurgårdens and right-back Kristoffer Haraldseid (5,5) to Molde without replacing them, while centre back Vegard Skjerve has retired.

A big question mark hangs over Strømsgodset, with all three heavy hitters in midfield from 2017 and 2018 gone. Bassel Jradi and Tokmac Nguen have gone abroad, while Eirik Ulland Andersen (10,0) has moved to Molde.

After a disappointing 2018 campaign, Odd could bounce back after signing back Fredrik Oldrup Jensen (5,0). He should be a big boost for their midfield, and I still expect them to be one of the better defensive sides. There are still concerns over their attack though.

Kristiansund recently made a massive signing in bringing Irish goalkeeper Sean McDermott (5,0) back to Norway. They sold him to Dinamo Bucuresti after last season, but he was released by the club after just two months and it didn’t take long for Kristiansund to re-sign him. I also expect KBK to be one of the better defensive teams, as they play a fairly conservative style of football.

Stabæk and Tromsø might be the teams to look at for budget picks in midfield. They both play fairly attacking football, and it can be quite effective at times. Meanwhile, they are two clubs with questionable defences, Stabæk in particular.

Lillestrøm are something of a dark horse. Arnor Smarason (9,0) was one of the main reasons they managed to keep their place in Eliteserien last season and he has signed a new contract with the club for the new campaign. Striker Thomas Lehne Olsen (9,0) is also still around which should give them something to aim at up front.

Ranheim were a bright spark last season, arguably the smallest team ever (at least in recent times) to make it into the top level. Predicted to finish bottom by most pundits, they clinched a place in the top half of the table. However, after losing key players Løkberg and Christian Eggen Rismark (5,5) to Brann and Aslak Witry to Djurgården, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in a relegation fight in 2019. Ranheim have found an interesting replacement for Løkberg in Adria Mateo Lopez (5,5), who is the first foreign player in six years to sign for the club although he has played for neighbour club Levanger the last five seasons though.

Bodø/Glimt also had a decent 2018 campaign as a newly promoted side, despite finishing just three points above the relegation zone. With the departures of Kristian Fardal-Opseth and Martin Bjørnbak, I think they could struggle in the new season though.

The newly promoted teams are Mjøndalen and Viking. Could one of them be the surprise team of 2019? I’m not sure. Looking at their 2018 season in OBOS-ligaen, Mjøndalen are a good defensive side, conceding 24 in 30 games. That’s less than any other team in the league, while quite a few teams scored more goals than them. Viking scored plenty, 68 goals in 30 games, but they did concede as many as 44 across the season. Ahead of their return to the top flight, they haven’t really improved their defence, so I wouldn’t touch any of their options at the back.

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37 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Geoff
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 6 Years
    3 days, 17 hours ago

    Hugely looking forward to this getting started!

    A reminder that, like last season, only Eliteserien comments are allowed in the Eliteserien articles. Other comments will be removed

  2. Geoff
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 6 Years
    3 days, 17 hours ago

    Who do you think will win the title this season?

    I've got a sneaky feeling it will all come together for Molde. Lots of new talent and Rosenborg could be slightly weakened. That said, in fantasy, I have no idea how to approach them..

    1. Fossit
      • 2 Years
      3 days, 17 hours ago

      I am looking forward again to improve my rank 12k first year 3k last year. In truth I have really no idea what I’m doing or who I’m signing.

    2. MrKlin of Norway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 11 hours ago

      I had a horrible season last season, dropping from a top 1k finish debut season to passed the 12k mark (!!) by the end of last years slaughter. I firmly believe I belong in the top 1k and have all intentions to prove just that.

  3. goktugerce
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 days, 17 hours ago

    I think Molde will give Rosenborg a run for their money. Some predictions:

    Rosenborg will keep 15 clean sheets.
    Molde will score the most goals again.
    Odd will be a surprise package.
    Kristiansund will relegate.
    Valerenga will challenge for a European spot.

    1. Johannes
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 15 hours ago

      Right now I don't even think Rosenborg looks like the best team in the league, but they can't be underestimated and they normally come good during the season even when it does look pretty bad at the start.

      1. MrKlin of Norway
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 days, 11 hours ago

        You are familiar with the Rosenborg traditions of great autumn run-ins and the old saying up here, that the league ain't decided until the potato-harvest comes in at Orkdal 🙂

  4. FPL Flop
    • 1 Year
    3 days, 17 hours ago

    Mjondalen keepers look a decent prospect based on their defensive record last season. Anyone know why they are unavailable for selection?

    1. Johannes
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 15 hours ago

      All have long term injuries. One of them suffered a double leg break, colliding with Rufo from Sandefjord in pre-season.

      They are chasing Ranmark from Molde (4.5) currently

  5. Greyhead
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 days, 17 hours ago

    Great to see the Eliteserien article. First season last year and managed 2k so aiming for higher this time round. Putting my eggs in the Molde basket so hope the predictions of a good season come to pass....

    1. Geoff
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      3 days, 16 hours ago

      We'll have another article next week looking at players in a bit more detail 🙂

  6. Differential (c)
    • 3 Years
    3 days, 13 hours ago

    Thank You, Geoff! This will be my first season, hopefully I do alright.

  7. TAT
    • 1 Year
    3 days, 10 hours ago

    Really happy Eliteserien and Allsvenskan Fantasy is back! The Allsvenskan team needs a lot more attention before looking anywhere ready, but the Eliteserien one is getting somewhere:

    Rossback
    Meling - Wormgoor - Bjørnbak
    Shala - Eikrem - Mateo Lopez - Antonsen
    Høiland - Vilhjálmsson - James
    (Wichne - Bjørkeeiet - Ronald Hernández - Jansen)

    At the moment I have 1,5 m available, so there's room for upgrades. I'm also considering Rojas Jiménez over Høiland, and that's another 0.5 itb available. Any suggestions? Could always make room for more Rosenborg assets, but I'm not sure how they'll look (and perform) this season.

    As far as chip planning is concerned, I'm a bit open as to what strategy I'll go with. Playing Rich Uncle in GW2 is something I'm looking at, but several key players in that double are also decent long-term options.

    1. TallestJohn
      • 2 Years
      3 days, 9 hours ago

      Akintola too good to go without imo

      1. TAT
        • 1 Year
        3 days, 9 hours ago

        I really want to find a spot for Akintola, but who misses out if he plays? Helland, Adegbenro? I'd hate to bring him in only for him to get rotated.

        1. TallestJohn
          • 2 Years
          3 days, 9 hours ago

          As someone who owned Helland for far too long last season he looked a bit past it. Still technically very good with great delivery but a bit slow and predictable, surprised they let Levi go.

          Adegbenro unlucky with that big injury but Akintola has more goalscoring instinct than the lot imo

          1. Johannes
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 days, 9 hours ago

            Rosenborg have looked so bad in recent friendlies. Their results have been terrible as well. I'm starting to re-think Rosenborg attack from the start.

            They have two more games to change my mind!

            1. Johannes
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 days, 9 hours ago

              so far*

              They have been struggling attacking wise.

              Rosenborg - Molde on Sunday will hopefully tell us something

              Akintola is my pick of the bunch atm, or Jensen if they continue using him behind the striker. Jensen behind the striker hasn't really worked so far though, so they might change that.

              1. TallestJohn
                • 2 Years
                3 days, 9 hours ago

                Akintola can be like Boli/EUA, a reliable source of points for a team in a relegation battle 😉

                1. Johannes
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  3 days, 7 hours ago

                  Haha.

                  Akintola did look more threatening than Adegbenro and Helland vs. Brann for sure.

                  Monitoring closely the last two friendlies.

          2. TAT
            • 1 Year
            3 days, 8 hours ago

            I do agree on this; Helland has been good in periods – when injury free and with several games played. I just think he'll be hard to drop for the manager, and hasn't he played quite a bit in the pre-season friendlies? I can see (or I fear) a rotation situation between Akintola and Adegbenro – or at least shared minutes. Might be completely wrong about this though.

            Guess the last friendlies will be worth keeping an eye on.

  8. TallestJohn
    • 2 Years
    3 days, 10 hours ago

    Thanks 🙂

    We are spoilt for info today as VG Lupen has started with Mjøndalen, they release a new profile every day: https://www.vg.no/spesial/2019/vglupen/

    1. TallestJohn
      • 2 Years
      3 days, 10 hours ago

      NO they've made the bulk of it for subscribers :'( :'( :'(

      1. Johannes
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 days, 9 hours ago

        Shame..

  9. GertJan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 days, 8 hours ago

    Excellent read and very informative! Thanks Johannes! 🙂

    Will we see less rotation at Molde now that Solksjaer is gone? I owned Hussain and Aursnes couple times last season, but always at the wrong time, lol. Scrolling through the list of Molde mids, there are so many quality options...

    Not touching Rosenborg's attack from the start, also because I feel Adegbenro and Akintola are too expensive. I do have Meling in my draft, though doubts have risen as 7.0m for a defender simply sounds like too much money.

    I currently own Brochmann as his successful spell at Stabaek still lingers in my mind, but after reading the stats about both promoted sides, ditching him seems the right move or do you think he could improve their attacking output?

    Looking forward to next week's article. 🙂

    1. Johannes
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 7 hours ago

      Hussain and Aursnes always players that aren't going to be reliable though cause they play so deep so often. Especially with Eikrem there.

      With the added quality of the squad I doubt we'll see less rotation. Key players like Eikrem should play most games I think.

  10. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 days, 7 hours ago

    Thanks Niemi for yet another great article - the buzz for Eliteserien is back!! - Really looking forward to my 3rd Season - Taking the Scottish Title back off Lord Tachanka and bringing it back to its rightful home 🙂

  11. Yellin' in my Ear
    • 3 Years
    3 days, 4 hours ago

    Still two weeks of tinkering left, seems no time and lots of time as well. Are many still planning rich uncle in GW2? I'm loading up on Brann, Molde, and Kristiansand from the start and going spissrush.

    1. Dupuytrens
      • 1 Year
      3 days, 53 mins ago

      I am planning to play two captains or attack attack if the double game week actually plays out.
      How is the weather in Norway? last season we had big disruption early on with snow. I guess that it is not likely again but worth considering anyway. Rich uncle for the final round may be the go.

      1. MrKlin of Norway
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 days, 11 hours ago

        They canceled tomorrows Mesterfinale (Norways "charity shield") due to "Expected rain" (what a lark), but thats's just our FA being the total nobbs they usually are, so nah, it's looking good and I think most games should be a go...

        1. MrKlin of Norway
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 days, 11 hours ago

          Mind you, Rosenborg and Molde are up for a fight so they rescheduled it as a friendly in Trondheim in stead...

  12. GertJan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 days, 3 hours ago

    Will VAR be used in Eliteserien?

    If so, I might pick one or two players just because they have pens in their locker.

    1. MrKlin of Norway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 3 hours ago

      No VAR in Eliteserien, technology is not in place so 2020 at the earliest.

  13. Knekke Brød
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    13 hours, 40 mins ago

    Allsvenskan Fantasy is already back too:

    https://fantasy.allsvenskan.se/

    I asked them if there will be an English language site too and they answered that it will launch this week ...

    1. Ramboros
      • 7 Years
      11 hours, 51 mins ago

      I managed to get a single digit ID, so I feel obligated to put together a proper effort this year.

      1. MrKlin of Norway
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 hours, 44 mins ago

        Wow, I got in at low tripple digits and thought I was fast.....
        Where did you lot end up last year? I got #255 and was amazed at that considering I'm as blind as the next man when it comes to that league....

        1. Ramboros
          • 7 Years
          4 hours, 20 mins ago

          Just outside 2.2k here. I didn't bother playing my wildcards and carried a fair amount of long term injuries. Paulinho was more or less a permanent captain since quite early in the game, which helped a bit.