There are a host of crucial games at both ends of the Eliteserien table this week. Title fights, relegation battles… and maybe a couple of matches that probably won’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, but what better way to find a great differential pick?
Rosenborg and Molde both suffered away defeats in their European playoffs. For Rosenborg it was a 2-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. Molde lost 2-1 to Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League, but that away goal means they’ll probably be the more confident of Norway’s representatives ahead of next week’s second legs. Rotation for some of the most popular fantasy picks seems likely once again.
Rosenborg vs. Stabæk
Another Saturday fixture, another chance to see Rosenborg’s team before the fantasy deadline. Will Emil Konradsen Ceide and Erik Botheim get another start? Samuel Adegbenro and Alexander Søderlund were among a host of star names to play 90 minutes in midweek, the former hitting the bar. Two of those names combined to earn a draw against Odd last weekend, as Even Hovland flicked Vegar Eggen Hedenstad’s free kick in at the near post. RBK were just the second team to take points off Odd in Skien in 2019.
Kasper Junker opened his Stabæk account in a comfortable win over Kristiansund, with Vadim Demidov claiming the assist. It took until the 80th minute to put the result beyond doubt, but Emil Bohinen finally rifled in a shot from the edge of the area, also claiming 2 bonus points. Andreas Hanche-Olsen has been crucial to recent form but was shown a fourth yellow card of the season against KBK and is suspended. With Matthew Rusike facing a continued injury absence, Youssef Toutouh (6m) will provide another midfield option. Stabæk beat Rosenborg at Nadderud in GW3 but have struggled on the road, especially against the league’s better sides; only the two sides propping up the table have picked up fewer points in away games.
Brann vs. Tromsø
It was another disappointing result against Mjøndalen for Brann, who were characterised by sluggish defending. Vito Wormgoor was hesitant as the hosts took the lead. Daouda Bamba volleyed the visitors level; Veton Berisha was awarded the assist although Kristoffer Barmen also contested the header. Håkon Opdal made a spectacular save which no doubt contributed to his bonus point, but it ultimately meant nothing for Brann. In the buildup to Mjøndalen’s winner, Barmen failed to control the ball in midfield and Taijo Teniste turned his back to divert a shot over his own keeper. This week’s visitors have shipped 14 goals in their last three away games, but no team has scored fewer goals in front of their own fans than Brann’s 9 this season.
Tromsø again showed more solidity at home as they came from behind to draw with Lillestrøm. Captain Simen Wangberg scored the goal, having been penalised in the first half for a perceived foul as a cross came in. Morten Gamst Pedersen provided the assist, his second attacking return in as many games. Lasse Nilsen will miss out here after picking up a first half injury against LSK.
FK Haugesund vs. Lillestrøm
Despite conceding an early goal, Haugesund turned the tables on Vålerenga who beat them comprehensively early in the season. Ibrahima Kone somehow failed to connect with a cross from close range in the first half, but FKH levelled soon after the break. Kevin Martin Krygård gave the ball to Niklas Sandberg on the right wing and Sandberg skipped past a challenge and curled in a precise left-footed effort from an acute angle. Kristoffer Velde completed the comeback, playing a one-two with Kone and finding the bottom left corner. A knee injury for Helge Sandvik in training means new signing Oskar Snorre could get the nod in goal ahead of Maciej Gostomski.
Arnor Smarason scored from the spot once again, this time after a foul on Joonas Tamm in the draw at Tromsø.
Kristiansund BK vs. Mjøndalen
Kristiansund barely troubled Stabæk, but could have reason to be more optimistic here as Flamur Kastrati is back in training. They’ve also added some support to midfield in the form of Godset’s Amahl Pellegrino and KFUM’s Olav Øby.
After an assist against Lillestrøm, Vetle Dragsnes added to his fantasy credentials against Brann. His low cross set up Stian Semb Aasmundsen’s opener and, with the help of a hefty deflection, he scored the winner from outside the box. Only a great save denied Sondre Solholm Johansen a fourth goal of the season. Aasmundsen is suspended for this game against his former club.
Molde vs. Odd
Europa League rotation caused problems for fantasy managers, as Magnus Wolff Eikrem was an unused substitute against Ranheim. Ohi also started on the bench and although he has showed attacking good rapport with Leke James, the latter has outscored him 8-1 over the last six league games after a brace last time out. Fredrik Sjølstad and Erling Knudtzon set up James’ goals, while Mathis Bolly was finally able to make an impact in Eliteserien, setting up Martin Ellingsen. On Thursday, Molde lost the away leg of their Europa League playoff to Partizan. Knudtzon went off in the first half, but it took his replacement Bolly just 10 minutes to score a crucial away goal, assisted by Eikrem.
Having achieved a respectable 1-1 draw with Rosenborg, a result here is crucial if Odd want to stay in the title race. Torgeir Børven had a couple of good chances but couldn’t score last week. Birk Risa got the goal, scoring with his back from an Elba Rashani corner.
Viking FK vs. Ranheim
Viking overwhelmed Strømsgodset. Fredrik Torsteinbø headed them in front from Ylldren Ibrahimaj’s corner – a seventh assist of the season for him. Zlatko Tripic rattled the bar but claimed an assist when a late challenge came in. Tommy Høiland dispatched the penalty en route to his best fantasy display of the season. In the second half, Høiland scored a majestic lob from outside the box, assisted by goalkeeper Arild Austbø. Defender Adrian Nilsen Pereira completed the scoring with some skilful control, set up by substitute Even Østensen. Tripic and Høiland are the form players ahead of a favourable schedule, while anyone from the stacked midfield or erratic defence can score well on their day.
Remember Erik Tønne? One of the budget stars of 2018 finally opened his account for the season, tucking in the rebound from Michael Karlsen’s shot. Tønne also delivered a pinpoint cross onto the head of Ola Solbakken, but Ranheim still fell to a 3-2 defeat against Molde. Separated from the relegation playoff place only by goal difference, they can now call upon Mushaga Bakenga who returns to the city where he made his name.
Strømsgodset vs. Sarpsborg 08
A huge game at the foot of the table at Marienlyst. Strømsgodset will hope they can turn in a similar performance to the one that saw off Vålerenga – Muhamed Keita was a big part of that and wasn’t risked in the heavy loss to Viking.
Like their opponents here, Sarpsborg are without an away win this year. Against Bodø/Glimt, however, they showed the endeavour which has seen them avoid losing to any of Molde, B/G, Odd or Rosenborg at home. New boy Mos will face his former employers having set up Kristoffer Zachariassen in the previous game.
Bodø/Glimt vs. Vålerenga
Amor Layouni’s brilliant season has earned him a Tunisia call-up and he was influential in the draw with Sarpsborg. Philip Zinckernagel played up front again and had the best early chance, forcing a save with a header from a Layouni cross. After Glimt fell behind, Layouni’s corner set up the equaliser, a glancing header from Ulrik Saltnes. Håkon Evjen could only manage a yellow card after a combined 35 fantasy points in his previous three outings. With Molde and Odd facing off on Sunday, B/G will know how this Monday night fixture affects their standing in the table.
Herolind Shala gave Vålerenga the lead as they slumped to a home loss, but they’ll be without him here after a broken arm sustained in training. Shala swept home a pass from Matthias Vilhjalmsson, who bettered his DGW17 score, but from there on it was frustration against Haugesund. Bård Finne’s minutes have been heavily curtailed once again, but with Shala out will Ronny Deila have any choice but to play Finne, who scored in the 6-0 demolition of B/G in GW14?