LIVESTREAM IFAF European Championship: Russia @ Switzerland, October 30th, 18:00 CET (1 pm, 7 am ET)

Team Russia will fly to beautiful Basel to take on the Swiss National Team in this IFAF matchup. The winner of this game will take ninth place in this year’s IFAF European Championships. Russia lost their last matchup in London as they took on Great Britain. Across the field, Switzerland most recently lost to Italy back in 2018. Expect the Swiss to play well at home as the national team finally returns to the IFAF stage.

On the visiting side, head coach Keary Iarussi, has revamped this Russia squad today’s team has only a handful of holdovers from their previous appearance. The squad is largely made up of Moscow Spartans players, as the national team relies on one of the country’s top teams for a pipeline of talent. Russia’s rejuvenated squad personifies toughness, as this smash-mouth offense relies heavily on the run. Therefore, running back Ivan Bunakov is one of the keys to the offense clicking. The 19-year-old has break-away speed and good vision. If Russia’s massive offensive line can open some holes the youngster could be off to the races. At quarterback Alexander Below will lead his team from under center. However, don’t expect Below to be throwing often as he’s a run-first quarterback in Russia’s offense.

Defensively, Roman Galiev is a large nose tackle that will certainly cause problems against the Swiss offensive line. Lining up behind Galiev, will be linebackers Alexander Romanenko and Roman Pavlenko. Pavelenko is a Moscow-based player with plenty of experience making plays internationally. The veteran looks to shut down an explosive Swiss run game today.

On the home side, Switzerland’s defense aims to win in the trenches and contain Russia’s physical run game. in order to do that, they will need a big game from defensive linemen Dominik Liechti and Tim Hanni. However, German Football League standout Lukas Ruoss is the key to this defense. Ruoss is a large and athletic linebacker who put up 42 tackles and 13 tackles for a loss last season. Expect him to be stuffing the stat sheet again today. In the secondary German Bowl champion, Tim Haggman should be a factor in this one. Haggman’s speed and solid tackling could help limit Russia’s explosive plays.

Winterthur Warriors quarterback Richard Whartmann will take the reins of the Swiss offense. The experienced passer will look to get the ball to young talents Dominik Stucki and Sven Riepl. In the running game expect the Swiss to rotate a stable of backs that include Bern Grizzlie Ibony Mbungu, Luzern Lion Reto Rast, along with Winterthur’s Jeffrey Wissekerke.

Both of these teams are ecstatic to be returning to international play after more than a year of not playing together. The Swiss will look to get the win in front of a roaring crowd at Rankhof stadium, while a remodeled Russia team aims to pull off the upset.

Watch the game live here

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and