Eliteserien is one Europe's lesser known domestic leagues with a UEFA coefficient ranking of 29/55 during 2018. It goes without saying that this is a fairly niche division even for ardent enthusiasts of Championship Manager/Football Manager.
The sheer number of FPL managers in relation to actual Eliteserien Fantasy managers is beyond comparison. If you've decided to take the plunge and make your fantasy football debut in Norway's top-flight league then there's a few things you need to know...
Rosenborg are kings
The Trondheim-based club have won Eliteserien a record 26 times, 35% of all titles. In fact, 13 of those titles were attained in succession between the early nineties and early noughties. They also happen to be the reigning champions of Eliterserien. The 2018 title was won by a margin of 5 points and this was complemented by them winning their domestic cup. Unfortunately, they weren't as successful in Europe but they are hot favourites to defend their Eliteserien title in 2019.
Lack of standout goalscorers
The Norwegian top tier has far fewer matches than the Premier League so hoping for like-for-like goal scoring tallies to identify marquee players is futile. But the fact remains that historically no player has scored more than 30 goals in this division. In addition, since 1998, only one player has scored 25 goals or more in a season. As for last year, only two players scored 14 goals or more and of the top 10 goalscorers only 2 boasted a strike rate exceeding 50%, so even Josh King would struggle! Perhaps this indicates that 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 in Fantasy Eliteserien is simply doomed?
Lack of clean sheets
If you thought that the paucity of goals among supposed star strikers was as a result of amazing defences, think again. Apart from Rosenborg, no other team conceded less than a goal per game on average. As for actual clean sheets, only three goalkeepers kept at least 10 clean sheets from a maximum of 30 games, which means that the thought of daring to line up with 5 defenders in Fantasy Eliteserien is forever obsolete.
Higher goals per game average than the Premier League
Eliteserien in 2018 boasted a higher number of average goals per game (2.80) than the 2017-2018 Premier League (2.68). But as has been discussed earlier it seems that goals aren't concentrated among a handful of regular goalscorers. It's rare for a regular starter to average a goal every other game. Goals were inadvertently shared across the team. Every club seemed to be scoring regularly which accounts for the lack of clean sheets - even the bottom three clubs averaged at least a goal per game, whereas their English counterparts struggled to do so last season. Therefore, the higher goals per game average in part may be explained by a smaller gap in quality between the bottom clubs and those higher up.
Chips with a twist
Just like FPL, the Norwegian version offers three chips but in a different manner:
"Rich Uncle" - As many transfers as you want with an unlimited budget for one Gameweek.
"Forward Rush" - All forwards get double points.
"Two Captains" - Double points for vice-captain, in addition to your captain.
To add to the mix, a rare Double Gameweek is due to take place between second weekend and midweek of Eliteserien 2019, so be sure to use the appropriate chip!
The season kicks off on 30th March. Be sure to join my Eliteserien Fantasy League for 2019...
Here's my league code: