LIVESTREAM Finland: Wasa Royals @ Helsinki Wolverines, August 1, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 9:30 am ET)

The Wasa Royals (1-4) will make the trip south to Helsinki (2-4) to take on the Wolverines in this Sunday afternoon Maple League matchup.

With the season now past the halfway point, both teams need to finish strong in order to qualify for the playoffs. The winner of this game could have an all-important tie-breaker when the regular season comes to end.

Head coach John Booker leads this young Wasa team to Finland’s capital looking to get his offense rolling. Quarterback Brandon Gwinner commands a Royals offense that will lean on athlete Tommy Kaczocha for big plays. German receiver Jan Hochschild is another player to watch as his big frame and sure hands allowed him two catch two touchdowns last week. Running backs Tom Suoste and Nico Barrow, along with Gwinner’s athleticism give Wasa options in the running game.

Wasa Royals @ Helsinki Wolverines, August 1, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 9:30 am ET)

Defensively, the Royals are determined to bounce back from a disappointing outing last week giving up 49 points and 506 total yards to the Porvoo Butchers. Viktor Manty and Nico Barrow are two key players to watch at the second level. Meanwhile in the trenches, former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ray Lima looks to stop the run in the middle of this defense. The Royals will have to play disciplined football and wrap up as they face a dynamic athlete in the Wolverines quarterback Jordan Williams.

Williams was the star of the Wolverines win last week, taking over with his legs in the fourth quarter consistently moving the chains putting his team in position to win their second game of the season. Williams finished the day with 98 yards and a touchdown. Not to be outdone, running back Joonatan El Ouacef used his size to rumble for 111 yards and a touchdown of his own. If these two can have the same success on the ground today the Wolverines should be able to pull out the victory at home.

However, the passing game left something to be desired as Williams finished with only eight completions for 31 yards. Fans can anticipate Williams to target versatile Curtis Slater today, along with Juuso Alakoski to get this passing game in rhythm.

Defensively, cornerback Rufail Khalifa has returned to the Maple League joining the Wolverines secondary after a season in Poland with the Warsaw Mets. Today the tall corner should have some extra motivation lining up against his former team. Khalifa, Slater, and Dejion Lynch give this Helsinki secondary a physical presence that can both cover and tackle. At the line of scrimmage expect Benjamin Egbudiwe to be busy today as the Royals are eager to establish their running game.

If the Royals can move the ball like they did last week, they should be celebrating on the bus back to Wasa. However, the Wolverines and their new quarterback are determined to get their third victory of the season today. On paper, this matchup looks like two evenly matched teams facing off. Both sidelines know this game could be vital as they hope to qualify for the playoffs.

Watch the game live here. Wasa Royals @ Helsinki Wolverines, August 1, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 9:30 am ET) 

Helsinki Wolverines Depth/roster

Wasa Royals Depth/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