LIVESTREAM Finland: Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Kuopio Steelers, July 24, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 09:30 am ET)

The undefeated Kuopio Steelers (4-0) will host the Seinäjoki Crocodiles (2-2) in this Saturday afternoon Maple League matchup in Finland.

These two talented squads played in each other in a back-and-forth affair on July 3. The game ended with the Steelers surviving three lead changes and a 17-point Crocodiles comeback to ultimately win 38-24. Fans can anticipate another nail-biting game as both teams seem to be contenders for this year’s Maple Bowl.

The Crocodiles dropped to 2-2 last week after a 13-15 loss to their rivals the Wasa Royals in the Bothnia Cup trophy game. The lack of offense came in large part due to the absence of a Crocodiles passing attack. After starting quarterback Zachary Whitehead went down two weeks ago with an injury, coach Samu Juppo was forced to play 16-year-old backup quarterback Arttu Aalto. Aalto flashed some potential and performed admirably in Whitehead’s absence, but the youngster simply lacked the experience of an older more polished quarterback. This week, the Crocodiles expect to have former NCAA division one quarterback Zack Greenlee joining them from the Prague Black Panthers. However, look for this offense to continue to be centered around the strong running of Christian Powell, the league’s leading rusher. Greenlee will have to operate efficiently with his new team using play-action to target French receiver Benjamin Plu against a well-coached Steelers defense.

Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Kuopio Steelers, July 24, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 09:30 am ET)

Defensively, the Crocodiles will look to stop Kuopio’s strong rushing attack that gashed them for 296 yards in their last matchup. Expect defensive end Flip Zacok and linebacker Jaska Varinen to fly around and make tackles against a run-heavy Kuopio offense. In the secondary, Nathaniel Robitaille’s ball skills and speed make him one of the most dangerous corners in the league. The former Schwabisch Hall Unicorn is sure to make an impact in this game as he’s been contributing to the Crocodiles in all three phases of the game.

The Kuopio Steelers won in dominant fashion again last week as their offense has been one of the league’s most efficient units. Quarterback Joey Bradley has orchestrated a group of talented players to average 41 points per game this season. Look for Bradley to target Isaac Marshall and Hannes Harju this week, as the team-leading receiver Frenchman Jeffrey Alexandre serves a suspension for two personal fouls. Despite an efficient passing attack, the running game is undoubtedly Kuopio’s strength as the former NCAA division three All-American Le’anthony Reasnover combines with Finnish veteran Tuuka Lehtonen to produce a one-two punch averaging 221 yards a game on the ground. Expect this trend to continue as the Steelers ran wild against the Crocodiles three weeks ago.

New additions Maurice Wright Jr. and Lars Steffen have fit in well with returning starters Semmie Radji and Jani Lindqvist making Kuopio’s defense one of the league’s best. Former Miami of Ohio defensive lineman Ikeem Allen has been one of the most impactful additions to this defensive line, as his size and strength make him a matchup nightmare for opposing linemen. Look for Steelers head coach Pekka Utriainen to stack the box in order to shut down Crocodiles running back Christian Powell this week.

This game gives fans a great first look at a new-look Crocodiles as their quarterback should be able to help an already explosive offense. There won’t be much time to build chemistry as the Crocs will have to mesh quickly if they want to upset the defending champions. For Kuopio, they look to extend their winning streak to eight games as they take another step closer to their goal of back-to-back championships.

Watch the game live here. Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Kuopio Steelers, July 24, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 09:30 am ET)

Kuopio Steelers roster

Seinäjoki Crocodiles roster

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football