We're delighted to welcome a new signing to the site ahead of the start of the Norwegian Football season next week. Former St Johnstone, Queen of the South, and Falkirk (to name a few) player David Weatherston, now living and playing Norway, will be bringing us his insight and tips on a weekly basis here at MFT.
Some of you may be familiar with David on the Gambla Betting Podcast so will know he'd well versed in all things Eliteserien and OBOS-Ligaen and perfectly placed to bring us the best betting tips from Norway. He kicks-off with a season primer, enjoy!..
New Season – New Challenge
The new season of Norwegian football starts up this Sunday the 9th of May, and I am delighted to be welcomed on to share my insight into the league from the country I have been living for five years.
Last season we were treated to an absolute goal fest from Bodø/Glimt as they blitzed the title for the first time in their history, scoring 103 goals in the process.
At the opposite end of the scale, Aalesund dropped down having conceded 85 goals in the 30 games. It was a league that continued to give us goals throughout the season, and one I very much enjoyed watching and reporting on.
Going into 2021 there have been plenty changes that will have an impact on the league, but hopefully we will be treated to attacking football, and in betting terms, some attractive teams to keep an eye on.
New look champions
The champions Glimt have come back to 2021 without their front three that caused so much damage last year, scoring 60 goals between them, only Molde out scored those 3 players out of all the other teams.
Kasper Junker has joined Urawa Diamonds in Japan, Zinckernagel is now playing for Watford, and Jens Petter Hauge is at AC Milan. As a result, Glimt have to find the same attacking threat with a new three.
The team is still very strong, with the other 8 starting players still likely to play, and they have added to that with a couple of interesting signings.
Erik Botheim was a Rosenborg youth who was very highly rated, but he didn’t quite break in at RBK, so now he has moved to Bodø. Still only 21, he could well find the service at Glimt to his liking, he is likely to start in the striker role.
But the main signing I will flag up is Sondre Sørli. Sørli went under the radar a bit at Kristiansund last year due to Pellegrino and his scoring output. But Sørli is going to play for Glimt at right wing, and he could well be hitting penalties as well.
Early pricing suggests a really big over pricing on his goal anytime market, so keep an eye on him doing the business for the champions.
Molde up for the fight
Over at Molde things are very much as they were last year, with the addition of 1 or 2 faces to compliment the squad that did so well in the Europa League early this year, beating Hoffenheim over two legs before narrowly losing to Granada.
Molde have great depth in attacking areas, and if they sign another striker which is still rumoured to possibly happen, then they will be very tough to beat. I make Molde the favourites to win the league, but this year I think it could well be a four horse race at the top.
Best of the rest
The other two teams that could join Molde and Glimt in a title race, are Vålerenga and Rosenborg. Rosenborg have added more midfielders to an already packed midfield, but they probably haven’t improved their defence enough.
Striker, Dino Islamovic looks sharper than this time last year, so he should be scoring goals for the Trondheim club this year. Still questions remains over their transfer policy, and although Rosenborg should be challenging, I see them as the 4th best team in Norway just now.
The team for me that look most improved are Vålerenga. They have held on to all their young stars that took them to 3rd last year. Aron Dønnum, Osame Sahraoui, Christian Borchgrevink and Kristoffer Klaesson all remain at the club, and they have added a few, including Amor Layouni, a player that was one of the best in the league in 2019 with Bodø/Glimt.
As a result, and with Kjartansson up front likely to be one of, if not the, top scorer in the league, Vålerenga look really well priced to win Eliteserien in 2020.
At the bottom of the table, Sandefjord are in massive trouble after their manager left in the winter, followed by 4 or 5 starters from 2020. They have failed to add sufficient quality, and I can see them going down fairly convincingly this year.
The other side in disarray early on this season is Strømsgodset. Manager Henrik Pedersen was sacked just 2 weeks ago after his own players complained of racist behaviour from the manager towards players.
The team was already looking weak, now they don’t have a manager, and their star striker will miss the whole season after an ACL injury in training.
I am all geared up for an assault on Eliteserien 2021, and I am looking forward to bringing my insight every week and some tips that I fancy week to week in Norwegian football.
Obviously it will take a few games to get some patterns and ideas of who is on form, but with so many games coming up in May and June, it won’t take long for the challengers and best players to make themselves known