The first round of the NM Cupen took place in midweek, but there was little in the way of cup magic as all 16 Eliteserien teams beat their lower division opposition to make it to progress. In the league, fixture postponements due to Norway’s involvement in the U-20 World Cup have come thick and fast, with details of the teams affected below, along with previews of this weekend’s fixtures.
Mjøndalen vs. Stabæk
Centre back Sondre Solholm Johansen has surprisingly outscored set-piece wizard Joachim Olsen Solberg, but the promoted side are yet to keep a clean sheet. Julian Faye Lund has made more saves than any other goalkeeper but could face competition from fellow loanee Mathias Eriksen Ranmark. Tonny Brochmann has scored two penalties and set up two goals so far.
Franck Boli’s goals against B/G weren’t his most impressive, but they earned the hosts a big win and Boli three bonus points against the high flying Eagles. The only penalty save so far this season was made by Marcus Sandberg in GW1. Fantasy interest in Stabæk’s players will likely be heavily affected by their schedule.
Stabæk face consecutive blanks in GW9 and GW10 and consecutive doubles in GW14 (sif, odd) and GW15 (S08, bra).
Bodø/Glimt vs. Lillestrøm
Bodø/Glimt suffered their first defeat of the season against Stabæk. Still, they are unbeaten at Aspmyra and should be prepared for this match after a second string XI featured in an 8-0 cup victory.
Bodø/Glimt blank in GW10 and have two fixtures in GW17 (VIK, kbk).
Lillestrøm failed to win their first two away games this season and will be without Tobias Salquist after the defender picked up a red card in the cup, while Arnor Smarason is still unavailable. Thomas Lehne Olsen remains a threat up front despite not being the most clinical of finishers, while Kristoffer Ødemarksbakken was the matchwinner with his first goal of the season against Haugesund.
Brann vs. Ranheim
Despite not keeping a clean sheet in the first five games, Vito Wormgoor is the second top scoring defender in the game and is owned by over 60% of fantasy managers. Fredrik Haugen and Kristoffer Barmen will miss out this time, but Petter Strand and Gilbert Koomson are expected to be ready.
Brann will be without a game in GW17.
Change is in the air for Ranheim, with last season’s fantasy darling Erik Tønne now operating at left back. Even more worryingly for his owners, 3 of Ranheim’s 5 goals against Viking came without Tønne on the pitch. Mads Reginiussen looks more likely to repeat last season’s attacking exploits, while those looking for a cheaper option can consider Ola Solbakken and veteran Oyvind Storflor – all three midfielders registered their first returns of the season last gameweek.
FK Haugesund vs. Molde
Alexander Stølås is very good at free kicks. He blanked for the first time this season against LSK but is a direct or indirect threat any time the ball goes dead. Owned by more than 40%, he will surely feature in plenty of lineups even against the free scoring league leaders.
Magnus Wolff Eikrem has been a revelation and bagged a brace as Molde dismantled the champions. If they weren’t already heavy favourites for the title, they are now. Eirik Ulland Andersen will be out for a while with an achilles injury sustained in the cup, bringing Erling Knudtzon back onto the fantasy radar. Martin Ellingsen didn’t feature last season due to injury but has cemented his place in central midfield and could be a reasonable budget pick. Ruben Gabrielsen filled in at left back against Rosenborg – all defensive options are in play here.
Molde blank in GW17.
Kristiansund BK vs. Tromsø
Strømsgodset may have made it easy for him, but Flamur Kastrati bagged two goals in his first 45 minutes this season. Liridon Kalludra also impressed with a goal and an assist. Kristiansund’s two clean sheets thus far have both come at home and this seems a good fixture to back Sean McDermott and company. The Owls have won the corresponding fixture in the previous two seasons by an aggregate score of 9-2.
Kristiansund blank in GW10 and GW15 before a double in GW17 (ODD, B/G).
Tromsø will hope Runar Espejord can stay fit; he adds a different dimension to their otherwise diminutive attack and equalised against Brann with a poacher’s goal. There could be value to be found in midfield through Onni Valakari, Daniel Berntsen and Mikael Noro Ingebrigtsen, with the latter two able to play a more advanced role. Gutan’s defence looks one to avoid; Simen Wangberg’s 6-goal season seems a long time ago.
Odd vs. Strømsgodset
Odd find themselves second in the table with an abundance of viable fantasy options. The conundrum of whether Espen Ruud’s attacking threat makes him worth the extra 1m over Odd’s other defenders continues. It seems only a matter of time before Sander Svendsen opens his account. After two games without a goal, Torgeir Børven will hope to get on the scoresheet again – he has plenty of time to reach double figures in the league for the first time.
Odd blank in GW10 and have a double in GW14 (MOL, STB).
Strømsgodset seem to have the same problem no matter who plays: a leaky defence. It could still be worth considering Jonathan Parr for his assist potential. Yacouba Sylla has 9 bonus points this season but was less impressive in the last game and doesn’t carry much attacking threat. Godset still have an abundance of quality up front and Mos appeals with Marcus Pedersen a doubt.
Rosenborg vs. Sarpsborg 08
Nobody saw this coming. The champions, the biggest team in Norway, bottom of the table after five games. Their fantasy options look overpriced and rotation prone. David Akintola has disappointed, but regardless of whether that’s his own fault, he’s injured for Sunday’s match. Birger Meling was perhaps lucky to escape a red card against Molde, but is also injured. Gjermund Åsen hopes to be ready but in any case has looked lost since returning to his hometown club. RBK have been better at home, even if they haven’t taken their chances. Eirik Horneland badly needs a win.
Sarpsborg’s start has also been a strange one. They are the only unbeaten team in the league but may be disappointed to have drawn four games 1-1. Nicolai Næss scored a free kick against Mjøndalen but S08 are a little light at the back, with Jonathan Lindseth another fantasy midfielder playing in defence. Given they’ve managed to avoid losing to three top half teams so far, it seems as good a time as any to travel to Lerkendal.
Sarpsborg blank in GW10 and GW17, either side of a double in GW15 (stb, mol). Their fixture against Viking is yet to be rearranged.
Viking FK vs. Vålerenga
It was a brutal encounter for Viking’s defence last time out, but they’ll hope to bounce back on Monday night against a side yet to win on the road. Ylldren Imbrahimaj has probably been the budget pick of the season so far, with Kristian Thorstvedt also impressing. Tommy Høiland seems more likely to repeat his 2017 Eliteserien form than his 2018 OBOS-Ligaen form, but nevertheless opened his account with a goal and an assist against Ranheim.
Viking blank in GW10, the new date for their fixture against Sarpsborg is yet to be confirmed.
This fixture finished 7-1 to the club from the capital in 2017. Herolind Shala is the top scoring Vålerenga player so far but is a doubt for this game. Chidera Ejuke has been easy on the eye as ever and is probably the league’s best dribbler, Bård Finne has only played over an hour in half of VIF’s fixtures so far – both have 23 points.
Vålerenga blank in GW9 and GW15, with a double GW17 (sif, stb).
How are you looking for this GW?