Key matchups in IFAF 2020 European Championships this weekend

This weekend, the IFAF 2020 European Championship qualification/group stage continues with three key Group A matchups.

The Dutch Lions will travel to Denmark to face the Danish national team in Division C action on Saturday, October 19 while Great Britain will host Team Russia in Division D the same day. On Sunday, October 20, Team Switzerland heads to Milan, Italy to take on Team Italy.

Saturday, October 19

Team Denmark (0-0) vs Team Holland (0-1)

The Dutch Lions are coming off an embarrassing 55-0 thrashing at the hands of Finland and will be in tough against a seasoned Danish squad who finished sixth in the 2018 European Championships. Head coach Winston Ronde faced a host of issues prior to the game against Finland, not the least of which was assembling a roster at the last minute. His counterpart with Denmark, Lars Carlsen, is in a different situation altogether. He has been coaching the Danish national team for over 20 years. He has spent this week at practice, preparing his team.

The Danes will likely start Alexander Kronborg at quarterback. Kronborg led the Danish National League in passing. Ronde will no doubt rely on  Tom van Duijin again at quarterback while Sean Richard is the probably starter at running back again.

Great Britain (0-0) vs. Team Russia (0-1)

The Russian national team travels to England to take on a British Lions squad that finished fifth in the 2018 IFAF European Championships. Russia dropped a 34-7 decision to Sweden earlier this month. Team Russia played two games in 2018, first losing 27-0 to Spain and then playing Turkey to a 13-13 tie. In the loss to Sweden, the Russians shook off their nerves in the second half after trailing 20-0 at the half. They scored on their first possession and played a very physical game. These two teams faced each other in a 2016 European Championship qualifier with Great Britain coming out on top 30-3.

Expect Great Britain head coach Michael Callan to field a well rested and prepared GB Lions squad. Russia will be in tough.

Team Italy (1-0) vs Team Switzerland (0-1), Sunday, October 20

After handing the number two team in Europe, Team Austria, a 21-14 loss in Austria, Italy has now become the favorite in the division. The Austrians had rolled over Switzerland 66-0 so all the Italians need to do to win this group now is defeat Team Switzerland this Sunday. The last time these two teams met was in the Alps Bowl in 2018 with Italy crushing the Swiss 43-8.

With Luke Zahradka at quarterback, Italy is very tough to beat, especially playing at home. Team Italy head coach Davide Giuliano will no doubt field the same basic roster as he did against Austria, while his counterpart Chris Winter, has had a couple of weeks to retool the roster of the team that lost badly to the Austrians. The last time the Swiss defeated Italy was in the 2016 Alps Bowl, when they came from behind to win 12-9.

 

 

 

AFI
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