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Eliteserien Fantasy season preview – Part 1

After a delay of two months, the 2020 Eliteserien season is ready to kick off on Tuesday evening. Last year Molde won their first title since 2014, ending Rosenborg’s four-year grip on the trophy. 2019 was full of surprise packages, not least expected relegation candidates Bodø/Glimt finishing second, but there have been plenty of major transfers since then. Here’s how last season’s top half look ahead of the start of the new campaign, starting with the champions.

Molde

The champions elected to strengthen an already stacked midfield by signing Ola Brynhildsen (7.0m) from Stabæk. Magnus Wolff Eikrem is the most expensive player in the game at 12.5m after a stellar season, although the majority of his 11 goals and nine assists came in the first half of the campaign. Eirik Ulland Andersen (9.0m) could feature more this season after being sidelined by injury for the majority of last term. Eirik Hestad will need another good season if he’s to justify a 9.0m price tag. And that’s all without mentioning the deeper-lying midfielders Etzaz Hussain (7.0m), Fredrik Aursnes (6.5m) or Martin Ellingsen (5.0m), wingers Erling Knudtzon (7.0m) and Mathis Bolly (8.0m) or youngster Tobias Christensen (7.5m).

Upfront, Leke James looks like the prime pick to start the season as Ohi struggles for fitness. They come in at 12.0m and 11.0m respectively and despite the inevitable rotation that occurred last season, they finished second and third in the golden boot race.

The defence currently looks a little thin, however. Reliable right back Kristoffer Haraldseid (6.0m) could miss the whole season with an ACL injury. Stian Gregersen (5.0m) spent last season on loan at Swedish side Elfsborg but looks likely to step in alongside Martin Bjørnbak (5.5m) after departures at centre back.

Bodø/Glimt

It would be a big surprise if last season’s silver medallists could repeat that feat, not least due to the departures of wingers Håkon Evjen and Amor Layouni. They’re also without defender Erlend Dahl Reitan (6.0m) who has returned to Rosenborg, while Nikita Khaykin (5.0m) will take over the goalkeeping mantle. Attack-minded left-back Fredrik Andre Bjørkan is unsurprisingly more costly at 6.0m this season.

Philip Zinckernagel (8.0m) and Jens Petter Hauge (7.5m) will be crucial to retaining last season’s attacking verve, with the latter being linked with a move to Belgium. Newly signed Ola Solbakken (7.5m) is another option out wide.

19-year-old striker Victor Boniface (8.0m) spent most of last season sidelined and now has competition from Kasper Junker (8.0m) who scored six goals to propel Stabæk up the table.

Rosenborg

Despite a dreadful start to last season Eirik Horneland remains in charge, having salvaged a third place finish. RBK couldn’t match the stylish attack of last season’s top two, but Kristoffer Zachariassen (8.5m) could change that, as the midfielder arrives off the back of 42 bonus points in the last three seasons for Sarpsborg.

The marauding Birger Meling (7.0m) is set to join Nîmes, so the left-back position is up in the air. Midfielder Anders Trondsen (5.5m) has played there before but can’t offer the same pace and energy. Could Dahl Reitan or Vegar Eggen Hedenstad (6.5m) move to the opposite flank?

As ever, Pål Andre Helland represents a gamble at 11.0m; injury-prone, but with a high ceiling. Samuel Adegbenro (10.0m) is unplayable on his day but has also had his share of injury problems in his time at Rosenborg. Dino Islamovic (10.5m) will lead the line having joined from Östersunds, but Erik Botheim (7.0m) has talent, bagging a hat-trick against Tromsø last season.

Odd

The archetypal top half team in recent years spent the majority of last season amongst the podium places, only to fall to fourth on the final day. The back-line picks itself at this point, with fullbacks Espen Ruud (6.5m) and Birk Risa (6.0m) probably the most tempting fantasy selections.

Golden boot winner Torgeir Børven (11.0m) will be out to prove last season wasn’t a fluke, although he may end up plying his trade elsewhere as his contract runs down. Should he stay, he’ll be supported by Elba Rashani (8.0m) and new signing Kachi Ugwuadu (7.0m).

There’s a new manager in Skien for the first time since 2007 as Dag-Eilev Fagermo has left for Vålerenga, with assistant Jan Frode Nornes taking the reins.

Viking FK

The side from Stavanger rebounded from 2017’s relegation and impressed in their first season back in the top flight and won the domestic cup. In goal, Iven Austbø (5.5m) could face competition from the returning Arild Østbø (5.0m). Adrian Nilsen Pereira put in some impressive performances in the second half of last season and is the most expensive defensive option here at 6.0m.

The departed Kristian Thorstvedt and Zlatko Tripic have been replaced by familiar faces too, as Yann-Erick de Lanlay (7.5m) and Veton Berisha (9.0m) begin their second spells at the club. The cheaper Ylldren Ibrahimaj (7.0m) looks like a safer pick though, having provided 10 assists last season. The versatile Fredrik Torsteinbø (6.0m) could also be worth consideration.

Kristiansund BK

Already a popular pick last season due to his budget price tag, opponents couldn’t handle centre back Christophe Psyche’s set-piece presence as he unexpectedly bagged seven goals. Now 5.5m, though perhaps less of an assured starter, can he repeat his goalscoring exploits?

Amahl Pellegrino (9.0m) was clinical in front of goal after joining from Strømsgodset last summer and Flamur Kastrati (8.0m) is worth consideration up front if he stays fit. Can KBK secure another top-half finish without bonus point magnet Amidou Diop in midfield?

FK Haugesund

If Alexander Stølås (7.5m) can regain his pre-injury form, the set-piece wizard will justify his status as the most expensive defender in the game.

Niklas Sandberg (7.5m) showcased his quality with some fantastic strikes among his five goals last season. With Martin Samuelsen now at Hull City, Kristoffer Velde (6.5m) or even Kevin Martin Krygård (5.5m) could step up to provide goals from out wide.

Up front Ibrahima Wadji (8.0m) still has a month to serve of his doping ban but has featured in a couple of friendly matches. Benjamin Källman (7.0m) scored a few as a squad player in his spell at Viking and Alexander Ammitzbøll (6.5m) rounds off the striking options.

Stabæk

Jan Jönsson’s arrival midway through 2019 heralded a spell of good form and clean sheets aplenty as Stabæk comfortably avoided relegation after a poor start. An exceptional season has seen Marcus Sandberg transition from budget keeper to premium option at 6.0m. Of the keepers still in the game, Sandberg made by far the most saves last season (129). Andreas Hanche-Olsen (5.5m) captained the second-best defensive unit in the league.

Despite Brynhildsen’s departure, there are a host of reasonably priced options in the midfield in Emil Bohinen, Luc Kassi (both 6.0m) and Hugo Vetlesen (5.5m). Bohinen is the latest from Norway’s talent factory to be linked with a move abroad. Romain Gall (7.0m) joins on loan from Swedish giants Malmö, costing slightly more than his midfield teammates, but in 2018 he bagged 13 Allsvenskan goals.

Fitim Azemi (8.0m) finally got a loan move and was one of Tromsø’s better players as they went down last season, while Kosuke Kinoshita (6.0m) will provide more of an aerial presence up front.

41 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Brilliant, thank you TallestJohn - great to have a fresh article before the season starts.

  2. Stat Sloth
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Thank you for that dandy summary, Tallestjohn =)

    For those of you who want even more information about the Eliteserien Fantasy, check out this spreadsheet!

    https://t.co/uDHJ6EK4qS?amp=1

    It has info on all first team pre-season friendlies, with minutes played, goals, assists, chances created, chances missed, and who was on set pieces.

    It even includes a fixtures chart with colouring depending on opponent difficulty!

    For more information about which formations each club uses, as well as Out of Position (OoP) players, check my twitter - @tomnext

    Good luck with the Eliteserien Fantasy 2020 season, all! 😀

    1. MTPockets
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Appreciate it. Very helpful

      1. Stat Sloth
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        You are very welcome ^^

    2. J ⚒ Gimme ur Mané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Brilliant thanks!

      1. Stat Sloth
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        No problem, mate ^^

    3. TallestJohn
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Back at you, the spreadsheet has been very useful and I know it can be hard to collate that information when the clubs don't always update their own websites, especially in pre-season

      1. Team Cruel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        The clubs are seriously clueless when it comes to PR. There are tens of thousands of people (fans, fantasy players, bettors etc) desperate for this kind of information. But all they're concerned about is keeping their precious tactics and injury news a secret. Way to build interest for the league.

      2. Stat Sloth
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Glad to be of help ^^

        True on the info gathering part. Some clubs understand more than others, though. Often the clubs with the biggest fanbase and best results are better at updating their fans, but not always.

        Molde was one of the hardest teams to get info from. I had to get a premium subscription to some local newspapers to get to even a little of their info. Same with Kristiansund and Bodø/Glimt.

        In the other end, Sarpsborg are always early with formation and player info after matches. Viking write beautiful long stories from their matches. Brann and Rosenborg often include highlights from friendlies on their websites.

        Hopefully success for Eliteserien Fantasy will give the clubs more reason to give fans more details in the future ^^

  3. MTPockets
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Great summary TJ. It's Eikrem, James + 13 still undecided others for me.

  4. The Units
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Thanks for the updated article! This is my first season of Eliteserien Fantasy and looking forward to it. Players prices seem quite high to get decent players that score points, so any bargain hints and OOP info will be gold.

    1. TallestJohn
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Might just be me but there don't seem to be as many true bargains (i.e. 4.0m GK/DF, 4.5m MF/FW) this season. Certainly nothing like Psyche who started at 4.0m last season or Tønne the 4.5m defender playing as an attacking left winger (which I think they admitted was a mistake at the time), but they ended up having huge ownership. Definitely some differentials to be had this time.

      1. The Units
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        I have read a few of the articles and come up with this team.

        Myhra/Nilsen
        Stolas/Sivertsen/Jansen/Bojang/Borchgre
        Castro/Hauge/Eikram/Stengal/Ibrahimaj
        Kallman/James/Fofana

        1m itb.

        What do you think?

        1. TallestJohn
          • 4 Years
          1 year, 3 months ago

          Midfield looks great, I like Stengel.

          Stølås was a must have at the start of last season but with him coming off a big injury I'd rather get more nailed defenders over Sivertsen/Jansen.

          I'd probably spend more up front, can't see Fofana doing much. Would rather have Østensen as a budget striker, cheaper and will probably do more with limited minutes. Or look at Skålevik, Kinoshita, Shuaibu/Liseth or the Sandefjord strikers.

          1. The Units
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 year, 3 months ago

            Thanks I'll tinker some more today!

  5. Stats Don\'t Lie
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Great article. Been a bit out of the loop with what's gone on ahead of season but it looks to be a tough one, especially with all the injuries that there are already! (Though these could also spell opportunities). Personally looking forward to building on my 3k finish from last year.

  6. _Ninja_
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Alonso, Mount or Doherty for final spot in FH team? Cheers

    Henderson
    TAA Stevens Lundy
    Grealish Sterling KDB
    Kun Auba Jimenez

    Fodder Targett Luiz Fodder

    1. maglia rosa
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Alonso seems the less nailed of the three. I have both the others on a FH. The Villa fixture looks prime to me to provide some Dgw busting scores. So mount edges it.

      1. maglia rosa
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Oooops wrong thread

  7. Mince n Tatties
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Bjørnbak at Molde has been flagged with a knock - any reports on this? Will he be ok for tomorrow?

    1. Niemi
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Missed training

    2. Team Cruel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Dunno but teams from the first 5 games should be out 15 mins before the deadline

    3. TallestJohn
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Midfielder Sjølstad most likely to step in at the back if no Bjørnbak/Gregersen but he's also flagged lol

  8. Niemi
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Joshua Smits is the first choice Bodø/Glimt goalkeeper

    1. Niemi
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Ohi is also back inn full training and hoping to get minutes in GW1

    2. Niemi
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      And I doubt Rosenborg will use any right backs at left back. Trondsen used to play left back at Stabæk and is left footed. They are chasing a new LB though, but probably not before the August window

  9. MTPockets
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Nordic Football Podcast - Eliteserien Season Preview 2020 & Jonas Grønner Exclusive Interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt0syaaKgDY

    1. MTPockets
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Yeah Holmberg-Pedersen looked good value until I saw the state of the rest.

      What do you think about VIF and Vilhjalmsson this season? Seems good potential value for 8m

      1. Team Cruel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        With the managerial change I rate our defence highly this season. Klaesson is the best value GK there is imo, there's no chance he would have been 5m if we knew he was nailed before the game was released. Tollås being back from injury is so crucial, if he can stay fit we're looking at quite a few clean sheets.

        I don't rate Vilhjalmsson at all, the guy gives me donkey vibes. And he's getting old so I think Godly will steal some game time there. Finne is the best pick in that attack. At times he's further up the field than Vilhjalmsson and he seems to be on most corners plus his direct FKs have always been dangerous.

        But then again the manager turned another donkey (Børven) into a top scorer last season so who knows?

        1. MTPockets
          1 year, 3 months ago

          Cheers. I need to free up 0.5m for Klaesson. Prices more of a challenge this season. Could do with Borven leaving Odd asap.

  10. Sandstorm
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Hi all, long time no see, I hope you all have been doing all right! Lots going on right now so no time to tinker but I threw together a team anyways. Thanks for the articles and views TJ, Ben, Niemi! Any obvious weaknesses in this lot?

    Klaesson
    Hanche-Olsen, Desler, Hovland
    Helland, Hauge, Sandberg, Wolff Eikrem
    Strand Larsen, Kallman, Kinoshita

    Haug, Salétros, Bojang, Borchgrevink

    1. TallestJohn
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Dangerous going without Børven and I favour James over Eikrem but otherwise really well balanced, I like it. Wish I could fit Sandberg into my team, think he's on penalties as well.

    2. MTPockets
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Hauge may leave for Cercle Brugge

  11. New Community Article
  12. TAT
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 3 months ago

    Still not settled on a team yet. How does this draft look?

    Sandberg
    Bojang - Hanche-Olsen - Ruud
    Salétros - Maigaard - Wolff Eikrem - Zachariassen - Edvardsen
    Kallman - James
    (Granlund - Gregersen - Daland - Pedersen)

    No Børven, which is risky. Sandberg and Zachariassen are probably the only ones I won't consider going without, other than tat, I'm open for suggestions!

    1. MTPockets
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Can't really knock any individual pick. Maybe Solheim over Hanche Olsen to save 0.5m. Would rather have Sandberg (set pieces) from FKH than Kallman, but can see why you don't.

      1. TAT
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Good point re. Solheim over Hanche-Olsen. Didn't see many of their matches last year; who is likely to get more points? That extra 0.5 could give me the option of bringing in Strand-Larsen as my second striker, though.

        I struggle finding a spot for Sandberg. I think it will be either him or Maigaard in the end. Sandberg i cheaper, of course.

        1. MTPockets
          1 year, 3 months ago

          Just checked and hadn't realised Hanche Olsen was one of the highest scoring defs last season. Solheim was at Hammarby apparently but honestly don't even recall the name (3G/1A from 1468 mins). Was more looking from perspective of already having Sandberg.

          1. TAT
            • 3 Years
            1 year, 3 months ago

            Yes, of course! Solheim wasn't even in the club last season. Must have mixed up Eliteserien and Allsvenskan Fantasy there.