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

The defending champion Kuopio Steelers (1-0) will host the Seinäjoki Crocodiles (1-0) in this Finnish Maple League matchup.

The Steelers are looking to repeat as champions despite major roster changes while the Crocodiles are hoping for revenge for a bitter semifinal loss in the Maple League semifinals in 2020.

Kuopio followed their 2020 championship season with a dominant 35-3 debut in 2021, blowing out the Wasa Royals in their home stadium. In that game, new quarterback Joey Bradley was able to manage the game well, finding French receiver Jeffrey Alexandre and Finnish fullback Ville Lindsten for scores.  On the ground, the running back duo of American newcomer Le’anthony Reasnover and Finnish veteran Tuuka Lehtonen dominated, finishing with 188 yards and two touchdowns.

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

Defensively, Kuopio’s front seven dominated as Finnish veterans Aatu Suhonen and Janni Lindqvist ran wild in the Royals backfield. Dutch edge defender Semmie Radji and linebacker Maurice Wright Jr also played well helping shut down a formidable Royals run game. The Steelers will have to play cohesive and gap-sound defense again this week, as they’ll face Finland’s top running back in Seinäjoki’s Christian Powell.

The Crocodiles defense is led by veteran linebacker Jaska Varinen. Varinen’s technique and sure tackling have made him one of Finland’s top defenders year and year out. Look for him and young linebacker Saiduo Jallow to contain the Steelers speedy skill players. Massive defensive end Filip Zacok is sure to help stuff the run as well.

New Crocodiles quarterback Zachary Whitehead showed his toughness in his Finnish debut returning to the game last week after taking a massive hit. Look for the Crocs to have a steady diet of running back Christian Powell to move the ball today. Powell’s powerful running style matches up well with a hard hitting Steelers defense. Expect linebackers Semmie Radji and Maurice Wright Jr. to have one eye on Powell throughout the game.

The Steelers look to continue dominating the league after a 2020 championship and a strong start to the season this year. They’ll face a talented Crocs team eager to upset them on their home turf.

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

Kuopio Steelers roster/depth chart

 

 

Seinäjoki Crocodiles roster/depth chart

 

 

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