LIVESTREAM: NEFL – Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) @ Tamworth Phoenix (Great Britain) May 12, 6p (7p CET, 1p EST)

Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders, (Europe #7) head to Tamworth, England Saturday May 12 to play the British reigning champions, the Tamworth Phoenix in the second game of the Northern European Football League, NEFL, for both teams.

Carlstad, winners of the past eight Swedish titles and runners up in the NEFL in 2017, have opened the 2018 season on a roll. They have won all four of their games in Sweden’s Superserien and trounced Norway’s Oslo Vikings in NEFL action two weeks ago.

The Phoenix opened their British regular season with a 60-7 walloping of the Manchester Titans but then were brought down to earth by Denmark’s Copenhagen Towers two weeks ago, 50-7.

Crusaders quarterback Philip Juhlin is no stranger to international play. Carlstad defeated the London Warriors in 2017 while losing in overtime to Finland’s Helsinki Roosters later in the year. In fact, Juhlin first tasted international action as one of Team Sweden’s two quarterbacks in the 2014 European Championships in Austria where he started against Germany.

Juhlin leads the Swedish league in passing with 960 yards passing and 10 touchdowns in four games. His ability to read defenses and use his legs will cause problems for Tamworth. His leading receivers, Robin Juhlin (no relation) and Jacob Dahre can put pressure on the secondary. Carlstad’s defense is led by linebackers Christian Kuylenstjerna and Mattias Eriksson as well as defensive lineman Josh Hill. Defensive back Julius Rucker anchors a ball hawking secondary that has recorded a league-high six interceptions in four games.

The Phoenix enter the game as the underdog but quarterback Pat Daley leads an offense that can score in bunches. Although missing the services of all-star receiver Will Hussey, wide receivers Ben Burslem and James Hossack can stretch defenses. Running back Deji Ali can cause problems for Carlstad’s front seven.

Defensively, Will Hobbs and Ollie Campbell anchor a strong secondary while linebacker Chris Thacker is a key to the front seven of the Phoenix.

Phoenix head coach Jason Scott is well aware of the mental effects of the lopsided loss to Copenhagen:

“We seemed to stop playing like the team we are in that game. We can’t worry about the scoreboard and just take it one play at a time.”

The Towers running game was an issue for Tamworth while with Carlstad they will be facing the best passing offense they have seen in a while:

“Copenhagen gave us issues with their running game, out of multiple formations. We know that we are a better team against the pass and we think we match up better. Whatever happens, we will come out ‘swinging’, and play our own game. The experience we gained from the game against Copenhagen was huge. We have been used to steamrolling teams. Now we will be better prepared and in front of our home fans.”

Crusaders head coach Tracey Gere:

“We are traveling with a shorter roster than usual and will have a few rookies on the squad. We expect a different Tamworth team than against Copenhagen. We know how tough the London Warriors were last year and Tamworth beat them so we will have our hands full in this game.”

Watch the game live here.  Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) @Tamworth Phoenix (Great Britain) May 12, 6p (7p CET, 1p EST)

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