Eliteserien Fantasy is back again! After a long winter, Norwegians are starting to see the sun again which means the football season is kicking off soon, and this time with a lot of interesting matches. In this article, we analyse the bookie’s odds for Eliteserien to see which teams have the highest implied probability to score and keep a clean sheet in Round 1.
We also recently finished compiling our list of Eliteserien set piece takers, which is a very useful resource for anybody playing Eliteserien fantasy this season. Don’t forget to check it when picking your team!
Eliteserien Clean Sheet Odds
CAN ROSENBORG CONTINUE TO DELIVER?
Rosenborg have now won the Eliteserien four seasons in a row and remained the biggest talking point in Norwegian football throughout the winter. Eirik Horneland has recently taken over as manager following a public row that led him to leave former club Haugesund. The new boss has spent the winter trying to implement his hard-pressing tactics, similar to Jürgen Klopp’s gegenpress, but his players have not instantly taken to the new approach, losing 5 of their 7 friendlies in preseason. They did, however, win their last friendly match with a 3-0 victory against Norrköping (Allsvenskan runners up last season).
We are not convinced about their attacking players, but fast David Akintola, who played for Horneland in Haugesund last season, are looking like the most interesting pick in the first round.
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Defensive players from Rosenborg should be a good choice, as bookies consider them to have a 42% chance of keeping a clean sheet. Left-back Birger Meling would be the go-to pick, but he’s currently recovering from injury and is a doubt for Round 1. Even Hovland and Tore Reginiussen are expected to partner up in the middle of the defence, providing more reliable options for your Eliteserien fantasy team.
Rosenborg are facing Bodø/Glimt, who lost three key players and only have one fit striker who was mostly used as a substitute last season. Their winter season has been fantastic and many of their young players have been standouts, but Rosenborg’s top players will give them a hard time when there are three points to fight for.
AN INTERESTING ENCOUNTER
Molde are considered to have the strength to fight for gold medals this season. After a winter with a lot of spending they now have a team that can give rival’s Rosenborg a fight for the throne. Their opening fixture is no easy feat, with Sarpsborg 08 impressing last fall with a fairytale Europa League run that took priority over their Eliteserien performances.
This season they should be fighting for a top-three finish. The bookies don’t give either team a high chance of keeping a clean sheet, but for attacking options, young striker Jørgen Strand Larsen has scored an amazing 11 goals in the friendlies this winter, including a hattrick against CSKA Moskva. Also, look out for Molde’s playmaker Magnus Wolff Eikrem and new striker Ohi Omoijuanfo.
ODDS TO SCORE 2+ GOALS
Vålerenga are the bookies biggest favourite in the opening round of Eliteserien. The team from the capital have been on fire in their friendly matches in March, scoring 13 goals in their last five matches. They are facing newly promoted minors Mjøndalen at home. The guest are still searching for a first choice goalkeeper, as both of their keepers are sidelined for months.
As for now, they have brought young Julian Faye-Lund on loan for Rosenborg, and the 19-year-old talent is set to debut in the top tier this weekend. Target man Matthias Vilhjalmsson scored three goals in Vålerengas last friendly (4-4 against rivals Lilleestrøm). Both left winger Bård Finne, who bagged 10 goals last season, and the spectacular, but also unpredictable Chidera Ejuke are other obvious choices this round. Ejuke now is placed in his favourite position right behind Vilhjalmsson. All out attack for Vålerenga this season, and we trust them this round.
Bookies also consider Vålerenga to be the team with the highest chance of keeping a clean sheet. Attacking left-back Sam Adekugbe looks like a good option in defence. Mjøndalen are at the same time considered to be the team least likely to keep their opponents from scoring (21%).
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WHAT ABOUT STRØMSGODSET?
Strømsgodset had a horrendous season in 2018. Tipped to be fighting for top 3, but only stayed away from relegation qualification in the last second of the season. The team still lacks a few pieces, but could still be interesting for the first round. Mainly because opponents Haugesund (fourth last season) are struggling. They’ve lost their last two friendlies with 0-4 against both Odd and Viking, and their main defender Ben Karamoko picked up a long term injury in their last match. Also newly signed keeper Maciej Gostomski has looked unreliable.
For Strømsgodset there is a lot of uncertainty about how they will line up. But the obvious option is Mustafa “Mos” Abdellaoue. After scoring 16 goals for relegated Aalesund in 2017 he single-handedly saved the team last season by scoring their last nine (!) goals in the league and the cup. Strømsgodset are given a chance of 47% to score at least 2 goals here.
ALWAYS KEEP THE WEATHER IN MIND
When it comes to Norwegian fantasy football you always have to check the forecast before picking your team.
Last season two matches were postponed not long before kick-off in the first round due to heavy snowfall and unplayable pitches, while Bodø/Glimt’s (from the north of Norway) match had to be stopped for 30 minutes before they played the rest of the game.
The season started three weeks earlier last year, and so far the forecast looks promising. But that can change in a second. But some of the pitches like Stabæks, need a weekend without rain to be in good shape for kick off. All the seven other matches are played on artificial grass in Round 1.