LIVESTREAM Finland: Wasa Royals @ Helsinki Roosters, Aug. 21, 17:30 EEST (16:30 CET, 10:30 ET)

Friday night football is back for the fourth straight week in Finland’s Maple League with the defending champion Helsinki Roosters hosting the undefeated Wasa Royals. Both teams have a lot to play for as the Royals are trying to secure a home playoff game while the Roosters are fighting for chance to be in the playoffs.

The Roosters need this win to help their playoff chances as there is a crowd of teams jostling for the final two playoff seeds with only two games remaining in the season. Helsinki showed their dominance winning last week against the Porvoon Butchers 60-12. The Roosters passing game was superb in the win as quarterback Miro Kadmiry threw for six touchdowns. His receivers Alexander Wasilijeff and Arttu Erkkila both had over a 100 yards receiving. It seemed as if the Roosters had gotten their confidence back in week 3 after two straight losses.  This week the offense should be helped with the addition of running back Mike Gentili who didn’t play last week. Gentili should help balance the Roosters pass heavy offense. Another addition for the Roosters will be receiver Kimi Linnainmaa. Linnainmaa last played for Helsinki in 2018 where he collected 736 yards and 12 touchdowns. Since 2018 he has been part of the Toronto Argonauts organization in the Canadian Football League.

Wasa Royals @ Helsinki Roosters, Aug. 21, 17:30 EEST (16:30 CET, 10:30 ET)

Defensively the Roosters will need their defensive backs to step up against the Maple League’s leading receiver Alpha Jalloh and the rest of the Royals receiving corps. Look for Roosters defensive back Ville-Valtteri Suojanen to play well this week after a two-interception performance in week 3. Helsinki’s defense needs create a pass rush again against the Royals after sacking the Butchers three times last week. 1.5 sacks came from French defensive end Cameron Gruel. Look for the Roosters to come into this game hungry and determined to earn their place in the playoffs. Roosters Defensive back Ville-Valtteri Suojanen discussed last week’s win and the matchup with the Royals and Alpha Jalloh with AFI:

[Last week] it was a very good team victory. We got a lot of good performances on both sides of the ball and we’ll keep building on that.”

When discussing the matchup with Alpha Jalloh

“He’s been a monster so far this year and we’ll have to keep playing on a very high level to contain him”

The visiting Wasa Royals are 3-0 through the first part of their schedule. Last week they won an exciting game at home against the Seinajoki Crocodiles 42-32, reclaiming the Botnia Bowl Trophy. That game featured lots of big plays, most of which came from wide receiver Alpha Jalloh. Jalloh did it all last week running in a touchdown, catching touchdown passes, and even completing a 48-yard pass on his way to 274 total yards and three touchdowns. Royals quarterback Brandon Gwinner had an efficient day passing as he went 16-22 for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jalloh had some thoughts on this week’s matchup:

“Honestly in my opinion I think the Roosters are the most complete team. They may not have Americans this season, however, they are still the most complete team in my eyes. The reason I say that is when I look at their defense they are playing textbook sound football. They do their jobs, they run to the ball. They do the best job of running from sideline to sideline. I think they are the only team in Finland that shows that and plays textbook football.”

Defensively the Royals need to step up their run defense as they were burned for 362 yards on the ground last week. Look for the Royals to wrap up and tackle better if they want to beat a physical Roosters team in Helsinki. They will need lineman Carlos Carrasco to play well again after a sack and two tackles for a loss last week. A key for them will be linebacker Zack Blair. Blair had four tackles and a blocked kick against Seinajoki. The Royals will need Blair to be a leader for them on defense as they go into Helsinki.

Friday night’s game in Helsinki will feature two teams playing hard to decide their playoff fates. With only two games left in the Maple League regular season the Royals are looking to lock up a home playoff game while the defending champion Roosters are fighting to secure a spot in the playoffs at all.

Watch the game live here. Wasa Royals @ Helsinki Roosters, Aug. 21, 17:30 EEST (16:30 CET, 10:30 ET)

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Helsinki Roosters starting lineup and roster

Wasa Royals starting lineup and roster

 

 

 

Alex Malchow
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 stories from across the globe.
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