LIVESTREAM Finland: Kuopio Steelers @ Helsinki Roosters, July 30th 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

In a highly anticipated battle of undefeated teams the Helsinki Roosters (4-0) will host the defending Finnish champion Kuopio Steelers (5-0).

These two talented squads seem to be on a collision course for the title and today’s game could serve as a thrilling Maple Bowl matchup preview. Expect the Steelers to play well on the road, while the Roosters are eager to reclaim the league’s top spot.

The Roosters come into the game with the league’s highest scoring offense, averaging over 40 points a game. Commanding this potent attack is the league’s only starting Finnish quarterback Miro Kadmiry. Kadmiry’s potent passing attack is averaging a league-best 252 yards a game to go along with 11 total passing touchdowns. Expect the homegrown passer to target new receiver Rashad Still and former track star William Kajander as Still’s 6’5″ frame and Kajander’s world class speed pair together well. Micky Kyei, Andrecus Lindsley, and Kari Pajarinen are three versatile running backs who can move the chains both on the ground or in the air.

Kuopio Steelers @ Helsinki Roosters, July 30th 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

Roosters‘ head coach Juha Hakala aims to involve all three of these dynamic players out of the backfield. However, as Helsinki lines up against an athletic Steelers defensive line they must win in the trenches against Finland’s best pass rush in order to stay undefeated.  Defensively, Roni Salonen has made a splash in his return to Finland. In only three games, the former German Bowl champion has already racked up five and half sacks, two forced fumbles and 27 total tackles. Salonen’s play will be vital today, as the Steelers bring the country’s top rushing attack to the capital city. In the secondary, Lorenzo Melchiore has played well on defense but has truly shined on special teams. The former American International College (NCAA D2) product has scored three touchdowns on kick and punt returns.

Expect the Steelers to kick away from the dangerous speedster tonight.

Head coach Pekka Utriainen has built this Steelers offense around running the ball. Former All-American running back Le’Anthony Reasonover has been a great addition for Kuopio as he has averaged 160 rushing yards a game.

Veteran quarterback Joey Bradley manages this offense behind strong offensive line play. Bradley will look to limit turnovers as the Kuopio is determined to pound the rock and control the clock against a well-coached Roosters team. When passing, Bradley has options in French national team receiver Jeffrey Alexandre and Finnish slot receiver Hannes Harju.  Defensively the Steelers have the fiercest front seven in Scandinavia. Defensive end Semmie Radji leads the Maple League with five and half sacks, while former Miami University (NCAA D1) defensive tackle Ikeem Allen will continue stuff the middle of the defense, posing a matchup nightmare for opposing guards and centers.

Veteran Jani Linqvist is also a key contributor to the defensive front bringing a savvy and effective pass rush opposite Radji. The Steelers defensive line will have their ears pinned back against the potent Roosters passing offense, hoping to add to their impressive sack totals. On the back end, Eero Vaija has benefited from his teammate’s success grabbing a league-leading four interceptions. Steelers fans hope for this trend to continue today against a pass heavy Roosters offense.

With the entire Maple League watching, these two undefeated teams have a chance tonight to set themselves apart as this year’s title favorites. For Kuopio, this game is an important step if they expect to repeat as champions. However, the Roosters look to return to their former glory of the 2010’s where they won an illustrious seven consecutive titles.

Watch the game live here. Kuopio Steelers @ Helsinki Roosters, July 30th 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

Helsinki Roosters Depth chart/roster

Kuopio Steelers Depth chart/roster

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