IFL: Week 8 preview – A couple of upsets in the making?

Following last weekend’s shocking Parma victory over Firenze Guelfi, the Italian Football League has been shaken up. With just five weeks left of the season (teams do not play every week), there is still plenty to play for.

Emilia Stainless Steel Warriors (0–4) @ Milano Rhinos (3–2)

The Rhinos gutting at the hands of Ancona last week shows how much the team has begun to struggle since losing star quarterback Joey Baughman. Italian quarterback Raven Ines threw just 44 yards and two interceptions in the loss against the Dolphins.

This week, the Rhinos will be up against a Warriors team who, despite having yet to win a game, sport one of the better passing offenses in the league. This will likely be Warriors’ quarterback Derek Green’s best chance at getting his first win of the season.

Legnano Frogs (2–2) @ Parma Panthers (3–1)

The Panthers opened the season dreadfully but have since gone from strength to strength. They were able to dethrone the undefeated Guelfi last week in convincing fashion and are now one of the league favorites.

The Frogs have had a similar trajectory, albeit a little less dramatic. They managed to get their second win of the season two weeks ago against the Rhinos and now have one of the most balanced offenses in the league. What the Frogs quarterback Eystin Salum lacks in consistency, he makes up for with big play ability.

It is unlikely the Frogs will get the win here, but don’t be surprised if they’re still in it come the fourth quarter thanks to Salum.

Varese Skorpions (2–2) @ Lazio Ducks (2–3)

Despite having a losing record, the Ducks currently have one of the front runners for league MVP. Quarterback Austin Albericci has been tearing the league up with both his arm and legs. In five games he has tallied a league-leading 1323 yards through the air with 12 touchdowns, and a further 240 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Albericci and the Ducks offense has been phenomenal. The only reason they are currently flying under the radar is because of how atrocious their defense has been playing. They have let in nearly 1000 more yards than any other team in the league and a league worst 24 touchdowns.

The Skorpions offense has shown to be productive throughout the season, but this has come mostly from a gritty rushing attack, something the Ducks defense should be able to handle. Expect Albericci to have another outstanding performance and bring the Ducks back to .500.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.