LIVESTREAM Finland: Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Porvoo Butchers, August 21, 16:30 CET (4:30 pm, 10:30 am ET)

The Seinäjoki Crocodiles (3-3) will make the long trip south to visit the Porvoo Butchers (3-3) in the second last game of Finland’s Maple League regular season for both teams.

This game is vital as far as playoff seeds go as neither team wants to finish fourth and play the undefeated Kuopio Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Crocodiles and Butchers both have tie-breaker wins over the Wolverines making both of them locks for the postseason. However, this game is crucial as it will likely decide which of these squads claims the third and fourth seed.

The Crocodiles arrive fresh as haven’t played in three weeks since they beat the UNC Crusaders 32-25 at home. Running back Christian Powell has been the engine of this Seinäjoki offense for the fourth straight season. In a decorated career in Seinäjoki, Powell crossed a career milestone scoring his 50th career touchdown earlier this season, while racking up 823 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground this season.

However, the passing game hasn’t had the same success. The Crocodiles quarterback woes, unfortunately, continue, as injuries have held back the talented offense. Initially, Seinäjoki lost starting quarterback Zachary Whitehead for the season in late June. The Crocodiles responded by signing former UTSA (NCAA D1) quarterback Zack Greenlee. Greenlee started two games then suffered an injury of his own and will not be available today. Expect running back Christian Powell and defensive back Nathaniel Robitaille to both take snaps at the quarterback position and use their athleticism to try and make some big plays. Expect whoever is playing quarterback to target former CFL receiver Benjamin Plu. Plu’s size, speed, and pro experience could help the Crocodiles pull off the road win today.

Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Porvoo Butchers, August 21, 16:30 CET (4:30 pm, 10:30 am ET)

Seinäjoki’s defense is led by veteran linebacker Jaska Varinen. Varinen leads the Maple League in tackles once again. The veteran has been one of Finland’s top linebackers year in and year out for the Crocodiles. At the line of scrimmage, defensive end  Filip Zacok brings size, experience, and strength to his hometown club’s defensive line. on the backend, speedster Nathaniel Robitaille is sure to be a factor in this game. The Crocodiles have used the former Schwabisch Hall Unicorn all over the field. Robitaille’s play as a defensive back and kick returner have been vital for the success of Coach Juppo’s team.

Porvoo is eager to bounce back after an embarrassing loss in Kuopio last week. Offensively the Butcher’s talented unit was dominated by the Steelers as they failed to muster even a single point. However, quarterback Jabari Harris has faced adversity before. Expect the veteran passer to respond well and lead this Butcher’s offense to play much better today. Harris is a dynamic athlete who can impact the game with his arm and his legs rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for nine this season. Expect Harris to involve running back Sean Mcallen as well as new receiver Brandon Izhanza in todays’ game plan. in the slot, Finnish receiver Mikko Seppanen is a proven playmaker in the Maple League and should see plenty of targets today as the Butchers are determined to win this game at home.

Linebackers Timi Nuikka and Alvin Reels Jr. need to tackle one of Finland’s most physical running backs to get the win today. The Butcher’s defensive line must step up to the challenge and defend their gaps against a powerful running game. In the defensive backfield, William Stigzelius and newcomer Brandon Izhana hope to help contain running back Christian Powell. If the Butchers can slow down Seinäjoki’s top weapon they could be celebrating a huge with their home fans. As the regular season wraps up, both of these teams have done enough to earn themselves a post-season bid. Yet, neither of these squads is eager to make the trip to eastern Finland to visit an undefeated Kuopio Steelers squad. Expect today to be a hard-fought battle between two talented squads who see today as a must-win game.

Watch the game live here: Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Porvoo Butchers, August 21, 16:30 CET (4:30 pm, 10:30 am ET)

Porvoo Butchers Depth/roster

 

 

Seinäjoki Crocodiles 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