The Eliteserien Optician articles are finally back on Fantasy Football Scout after some time away focusing on Twitter. Towards the end of the article, I’ve dropped all the necessary information for you to access weekly threads, Fantasy podcasts, interviews with Eliteserien players/staff and more. All the stats and visuals from the weekend’s fixtures in one place. Without further hesitation, let’s go!
FK Haugesund 4-2 Viking FK
Viking continued their poor stint with a third consecutive loss and fifth consecutive game without a win, the ‘Berisha-less’ title hopefuls managing just five shots & 190 accurate passes (71%) to FKH’s 19 & 388 (85%), respectively. Alioune Badou Ndour’s (8.6m) exceptional form provides the key talking point yet again, bagging a brace from 4/4SITB (shots in the box) and just 0.24xG (expected goals). Having conceded twice to Sandefjord last week, it seems that Viking have failed to kill the bad habit, Badou’s first coming as Mads Sande (5.6m) capitalised on a horrendous first touch from Viljar Vevatne (4.7m). Sande himself enjoyed fulfilling a more central role, with striker Alexander Søderlund (7.4m) only fit enough for the bench, the cut-price midfielder bagging an assist whilst also tallying 1/3SITB & 2KP (key passes). Identically priced teenager Christos Zafeiris (5.5m) bagged a late goal himself, however, typically occupied a far deeper role. If it wasn’t for some questionable refereeing, Peter Therkildsen (5.4m) would have made it two goals in three games, however, an atrocious piece of simulation from goalkeeper Patrik Gunnarsson (5.3m) denied FKH a fifth. Viking’s defence is looking like one which needs targeting, as opposed to owning, right now; however, it has to be said that the dismissal of captain Kristoffer Løkberg (4.8m) made issues far worse.
The Viking defender on many minds will be out-of-position Sebastian Sebulonsen (6.4m), who has now scored an underwhelming seven points over the last four Gameweeks. That considered, the wide-man has accumulated 8/10SITB & 0.78xG over those fixtures, leaving the FKH game with an assist to his name. Daniel Karlsbakk (5.0m) provided a spark in an otherwise bare Viking attack, providing two attacking returns despite taking only one shot and not playing a single KP in his 60-minute appearance. Veton Berisha’s (12.0m) presence on the bench provided an indicator of his fitness, so it unfortunately seems that Karlsbakk’s time in the side won’t last. Kevin Kabran (7.0m) completed 90 minutes for the first time this season, central and roaming around the penalty area as is typical of the ex-Start man.
Viking will look to bounce back in GW12 with a home fixture versus Rosenborg, Berisha being a leading captaincy candidate. Across his three blanks this season, the VIK talisman has 12/14SITB and 6KP, leaving no doubt over his threat and making it even more surprising that managers are moving him on. Haugesund take their victory into an away fixture with Jerv next weekend, providing that Jerv recover from their COVID outbreak in time, a fixture from which they’ll be disappointed if they cannot make it back-to-back victories.
Rosenborg BK 3-1 Kristiansund BK
The Caribou-and-Kräfta derby went as expected, my side failing to contain a Rosenborg side who coped fine without key man Stefano Vecchia (10.6m). After last week’s temper tantrum, Ole Sæter (5.7m) redeemed himself in style with a hattrick from 3/4SITB, accumulating 1.84PsxG (post-shot expected goals) from chances worth just 0.74xG. The injury-stricken KBK defence did little to deny him the hattrick, Serigne Mbaye’s (4.4m) shift between the sticks providing the greatest resistance. Having conceded just twice from 3.74PsxG last time out, Mbaye made five saves and left with the PsxG delta again in his favour, despite conceding three. Amidou Diop (4.5m) stuck to his tendencies, taking 3/5SITB and accumulating 0.84PsxG, this time scoring a rare goal. Bendik Bye (6.8m) continued his out-of-position role in Moses Mawa’s (7.7m) absence, however, he nor fellow front-men Amin Askar (4.8m), Sander Kartum (5.7m), and Liridon Kalludra (6.0m) took a single shot between them. Kristiansund, unfortunately, are a definite avoid bar Mbaye.
The real take-away regarding KBK is that their defence can be targeted; even goalkeeper André Hansen (5.5m) got an assist, putting the relegation favourites to shame allowing a long-ball to bounce straight through to the feet of Sæter. If it were not for issues of inconsistency at Rosenborg, Hansen would look a strong pick for the upcoming schedule, however, the fact that he has the fewest saves of any goalkeeper (or goalkeeper duo, in the case of TIL, KBK and S08) in the Eliteserien this season means that he progresses no further than the ‘Watchlist’ for the time being. Elsewhere in the RBK ranks, Adrian Pereira (6.9m) provides coverage of returns at both ends, shown by his recent 16-point haul versus VIF and 1/2SITB in this KBK fixture. Bryan Fiabema (8.7m) was unfortunate to leave with just an assist to his name, with the Chelsea loanee playing a major role in the opening goal, finding bonus-point-deserving Carlo Holse (9.2m) who put an excellent ball into the box to complete what was his best performance in a Rosenborg shirt for quite some time. Fiabema also produced 3/4SITB and 0.53xG but squandered his best chance of the game after 18 minutes, following an elegant takedown from Holse. Another teenager on the books, 17-year-old Marius Broholm, got 45 minutes under his belt and impressed, himself having 2/2SITB and being denied by Mbaye following some magic from Holse.
Rosenborg versus Viking could prove to be a high-scoring game given the recent defensive frailties of both sides, thereby making the likes of Vecchia, Holse and Sæter great picks before a Runde 13 fixture at home to Jerv. Kristiansund have two opportunities to grab a point in Gameweek 12, hosting both Lillestrøm and Tromsø, however, it’s hard to see any appeal beyond the aforementioned budget picks of Mbaye and Diop.
Bodø/Glimt 2-0 Aalesunds FK
After nine games in a row without a clean sheet it’s now two in two for Glimt, however, they couldn’t break Aalesund’s record of not conceding more than twice in a game this season. Amahl Pellegrino (11.7m) went into the Gameweek as the most popular captain among the top 100 and rewarded the faith with an expertly chipped finish over bonus-point-magnet Sten Grytebust (5.1m) on 76 minutes. Had Pellegrino not missed a big chance with his only other shot of the game, his owners could have been rewarded in a much more spectacular fashion. Ulrik Saltnes (11.5m) and Runar Espejord (10.8m) missed Glimt’s other two big chances of the game, Saltnes owners with a special right to feel aggrieved as he accumulated 0.56xG and 0.72PsxG from his 2/2SITB. Before this weekend, Alfons Sampsted (5.8m) had recorded 1.4 shots per 90 minutes this season, far exceeding Brice Wembangomo’s (5.9m) 0.4, however it was the ex-Sandefjord man who bagged a goal and all three bonus points this time around. Collecting the ball about 40 yards from goal, the left-back beat 3 Sandefjord players before making space between the centre-backs and firing home his only shot of the game – worth 0.05xG but 0.47PsxG – from just inside the box. Elsewhere, owners of Hugo Vetlesen (8.5m) and Elias Hagen (5.0m) were left frustrated once again, both tallying 3KP whilst accumulating 0/2SITB and 0/1SITB, respectively.
Despite the win, Glimt’s defence remained far from water-tight – Sigurd Haugen (8.0m), Kristoffer Ødemarksbakken (5.4m), and Torbjørn Kallevåg (5.5m) recorded seven shots between them, the latter hitting the post in the 95th minute. Restricting Haugen to just 2/3SITB and 0.25xG is by no means an easy feat, however, those who kept the faith in the B/G backline will hope that they can learn from their mistakes.
Should they manage to do so, the upcoming run of fixtures looks primed for clean sheets, next up being an away fixture against Odd. Having dropped points in two of their last four fixtures, it’s by no means a given that Glimt will leave with the win, making none of their assets particularly appealing captaincy picks. Aalesunds next host a Strømsgodset side who’ve scored nine goals across their last four fixtures, this fixture looking like a case of damage limitation as they look to continue avoiding being torn apart in defence.
HamKam 3-2 Sarpsborg 08
This week was certainly not the one to be losing faith in Kristian Eriksen (7.0m), despite last week failing to complete a single key pass for the first time since Gameweek 6. This week, however, 2/2SITB and 4KP saw him leave with a goal and assist, combining with wing-backs Vegard Kongsro (5.0m) and Aleksander Melgalvis (5.1m) for the returns, respectively. Goals in back-to-back games for Melgalvis sees him overtake Kongsro for points this season, yet it was the ex-Glimt LB that shone with 3KP to Melgalvis’ zero and as many shots in the box (one). It wasn’t an ideal weekend for the entire HamKam defence, bonus leader Hasan Kuruçay (4.9m) putting the ball into his own net for the opener. Centre-midfielders Fedrik Sjølstad (4.8m) and Kristian Lønstad Onsrud (4.8m) each took three shots from range, but only left with Sjølstad’s two bonus points to show for it. Zero big chances for HamKam, but when offered an opening, they took it.
The Sarpsborg returns lottery continued versus HamKam with my differential captaincy pick Joachim Soltvedt (5.1m) only providing a single key pass and zero shot attempts, after having tallied 7/9SITB and 5KP over his last three games. Last week’s top point scorer Tobias Heintz (8.1m) was also unfortunate to blank (especially if he captained himself in Eliteserien fantasy again!), the winger having 7th and 13th minute shots saved worth 0.19PsxG and 0.24PsxG, respectively. Besides these early efforts, Heintz accumulated just 0/1SITB and 1KP, leaving all the glory to fellow midfielders Mikkel Maigaard (8.0m) and Jonathan Lindseth (8.6m). 2/2SITB and 2KP for Maigaard saw him leave with an assist and bonus point to his name, whilst playmaker-turned-sharpshooter Lindseth took 3/5SITB, scoring with a header from the centre of the goal.
Next for HamKam comes the visit of Molde, but the home side’s key assets cannot be doubted given their home performances; they have actually conceded fewer home goals (7) than Molde (8) this season. Sarpsborg host a Sandefjord side with seven points from their last three outings, but will surely feel confident given the disparity between the quality of their attack and that of the Sandefjord back-line. I’d argue this is another valid Gameweek to captain Soltvedt or any of the S08 midfielders.
Sandefjord 2-2 Tromsø
Mohamed Ofkir (6.7m) almost picked up where he left off last time out against Viking: embarrassing defenders. Sandefjord’s opening shot of the game came as the winger intercepted a sloppy pass and saw a right-footed shot drag just wide of the post. This was far from the end of his antics though, taking 2/4SITB worth a cumulative 0.75xG and scoring what was to be a crucial equaliser as he levelled the game at 2-2. Where on earth the TIL defence was when he and Alexander Ruud Tveter (6.5m) went through two-versus-two is unknown, ART’s only other involvement being his shot off the bar, which he arguably should’ve converted.
Bonus point favourites Sakarias Opsahl (5.8m) and August Mikkelsen (7.8m) once again played key roles, the prior taking 0/2SITB (including an audacious halfway line attempt just before half-time) and making 2KP to earn himself an 11th bonus point of the campaign. Only Kuruçay, Sahraoui, Badou and Berisha have more bonus points than the playmaker this season. Mikkelsen provided a much-needed spark, again across the width of the TIL front-line, himself accumulating 2/4SITB and 2KP, returning an assist after his blocked shot fell kindly for Niklas Vesterlund (5.5m) to fire home. After a goal from fellow wing-bang Lasse Nilsen (5.5m) last time out, who himself took 2/2SITB and made 3KP versus Sandefjord, it was the right-back’s turn to play a decisive role scoring and assisting from a total of 4/4SITB and 2KP. These returns are largely overdue, his 1.8% ownership likely feeling that justice has been restored with his double-digit haul. If it weren’t for a lacklustre TIL defence – including goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard (5.0m) who failed to make a single save – more would likely jump on the goal scorer. Moses Ebiye (7.3m) continues to leave the door open for Jasse Tuominen (6.4m) to take his place, missing his 9th big chance of the season; an Eliteserien high.
Sandefjord are unbeaten in four and travel to Sarpsborg 08 in Runde 12 with Ofkir facing his former club and wanting to set the record straight, likely a major talking point. In his current form it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if the winger ended up proving to be the difference between the two sides. Tromsø’s next fixture comes on Thursday 7th July, but still features in the upcoming Runde. This is actually the first fixture this season I’ve backed them for a win going into it, having predicted seven draws for them in their opening eleven games, but I can’t see anything for Kristiansund here. If you have any TIL assets, hold tight.
Strømsgodset 3-0 Lillestrøm
Let’s throw logic out the window and start with the 97th minute for this one, certainly not because it saw my first non-Berisha captain of the season bury a belter into the top-left corner worth every last bit of its 0.72PsxG. Lars-Jørgen Salvesen (9.0m), take a bow. This, however, was far from his only opportunity with his other 3/3SITB worth a total of 0.61xG. Lillestrøm’s overperformance has been a topic of great discussion on the podcast as of late, the league leaders were finally exposed for their limited creativity and fortunate defending as the game ended 2.03-0.50 on expected goals in favour of the home side. This allowed SIF to flourish all over, so allow me to reel off the player-by-player statistics. Lars-Christopher Vilsvik (5.1m), in his typical style, excelled with 2/2SITB, 3KP and 0.45xA; his partner on the right Kristoffer Tokstad (5.9m) scored from 0/3SITB and accrued all three bonus points. Across the midfield, Ipalibo Jack (4.9m) scored from 2/3SITB, Hermann Stengel (5.7m) got an assist from 3KP, and Johan Hove (9.0m) was allowed space for 2/4SITB despite a rare blank. 18-year-old Tobias Gulliksen (7.7m) also showed his quality with an assist and 0.93PsxG.
Although not helped by Gjermund Åsen’s (9.0m) red card for a reckless tackle on Johan Hove, Lillestrøm really struggled. With zero big chances created and not a single shot worth more than 0.08xG, I’m feeling happy to have avoided them entirely on my Wildcard. We’ve seen Ylldren Ibrahimaj (7.7m) and Akor Adams (8.4m) act as catalysts on their day, as can defenders Igoh Ogbu (5.7m) and Vetle Winger Dragsnes (5.5m) be relied upon for attacking input, but without this inspiration it seems that the days of title optimism are numbered. It’s also worth noting that Dragsnes’ appeal has significantly decreased consequent of a recent return to a left centre-back position, as opposed to his preferred left wing-back role.
It’s hard to look beyond covering the SIF attack with AAFK, ODD, TIL and HAK their next four fixtures: the key candidate being Salvesen, who should be seen as a genuine captaincy option for each of those games. Lillestrøm will look to bounce back against a struggling Kristiansund side, but Åsen’s absence means that players must step up elsewhere. If I were to stick my neck out with a bold prediction for the weekend, it would be KBK to take a point here.
Vålerenga 0-1 Odds BK
Again, we see Vålerenga playing some strong attacking football, but failing to come away with the points. The match finished 25-11 on shots, 2-1 on big chances, and 1.68-0.96 on expected goals, yet resulted in a loss for the home side. Vegar Eggen Hedenstad (5.9m) is one man who looks an excellent option should VIF pick up some form, the right-back taking 3/3SITB and completing 2KP (following 5KP last week vs. AAFK!). Amor Layouni (8.3m) was involved throughout, taking his place at right-wing in the absence of Aron Dønnum, however, lacked the quality to make that all-important difference. The winger took 1/4SITB and played 3KP, often roaming around relatively central areas, but the issue remains to be the lack of a top finisher at the club. It must be said that Odd have goalkeeper Leopold Wahlsted (5.0m) to thank for their unlikely clean sheet and subsequent victory, following nine saves in a man-of-the-match display. Next on their list of people to be thank has to be Seedy Jatta (5.8m), whose stretching 95th-minute strike inside the six-yard box went flying over Wahlstedt’s goal. Kjetil Haug (5.5m) made six saves but was sold by Vålerenga to Toulouse, practically as the full-time whistle sounded.
The soon-to-be Sparta Rotterdam duo of Joshua Kitolano (5.3m) and Tobias Lauritsen (8.1m) put in showings demonstrative of their class, the latter scoring the game’s only goal with one of his 4/6SITB. Josef Baccay (4.5m) played in his typical role, flanking Lauritsen, and spent plenty of time in advanced-central areas. It was, however, substitute wing-back Espen Ruud (6.3m) who returned an assist on this occasion as he made 2KP following the 25th-minute substitution of Faroe Islands international, Gilli Rolantsson (5.8m). Midfielders Conrad Wallem (6.2m) and Filip Jørgensen (5.1m) took turns advancing with Milan Jevtovic (6.4m) behind Lauritsen, both tallying 1/2SITB and 3KP.
Vålerenga blank next week, leaving us another week to assess their goalkeeper situation ahead of a strong run of fixtures. Odd host Bodø/Glimt next, which may be a closer tie than it seems on paper. Can Lauritsen score in a fourth consecutive game to sink Saltnes and company?
Conclusion and MORE ELITESERIEN CONTENT
There you have it; The Eliteserien Optician for Runde 11! Although I will be looking to get more of these out, writing here has taken a back seat to Twitter threads (including, but not limited to, Eliteserien Optician articles on a weekly basis) and co-hosting a podcast with fellow Fantasy Football Scout Community writer Reindeer Hotdog.
Find us over on Twitter at @Eytexi (https://twitter.com/eytexi) and @ReindeerHotdog (https://twitter.com/ReindeerHotdog), and the podcast account at @CaribouKraftPOD (https://twitter.com/CaribouKraftPOD) or ‘Caribou & Kräfta: Norwegian & Swedish Football Chat!’ (https://open.spotify.com/show/6CIP43gaoY1KuSHyc0Lzcz?si=664420d02c404675) on Spotify.
Not only do we provide fantasy roundups and previews, but we have interviews with the likes of HamKam assistant manager Tom Dent, Sarpsborg 08 goalkeeper Anders Kristiansen, and HamKam centre-back Julian Dunn. It’s going to be a big Summer, full of content and free-entry competitions (for which we have some huge yet-to-be-revealed prizes up for grabs)! Thank you all for reading, and good luck for Runde 12.