LIVESTREAM Italian Semifinal: Firenze Guelfi @ Parma Panthers, July 4, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)

The Parma Panthers (8-0) will host the Firenze Guelfi (4-4) in this Italian Division 1 semifinal matchup.

The Panthers have looked like a team of destiny so far, while the up and down Guelfi are entering the post season with momentum on their side.

While their records might be indicate a stark difference in talent, the Guelfi have the athletes and coaching to pull off the upset. The last time these two teams met it took overtime for the Panthers to celebrate a 41-34 win on their home turf.

Panthers quarterback Reilly Hennessy has conducted this offense to be one of the most efficient units in the country. Italian receiver Simone Alinovi and running backs Alessandro Malpeli Aval and Moodeste Pooda are all domestic playmakers that can move the chains and put up points for this Panthers offense. Alinovi’s speed and good hands make him one of the league’s most exciting players. The slim Italian has put up an impressive 788 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. However, the X-factor for this team is athlete Nick Diaco. Coach Marc Mattioli has used the versatile Diaco as a wide receiver, tight end, and wild cat quarterback. The move to get the 6’4″ 230 pound athlete the ball has paid off as Diaco has put up 11 total touchdowns this season.

Firenze Guelfi @ Parma Panthers, July 4, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)

Defensively, this Parma team is led by linebacker Asantay Brown. The former Philadelphia Eagle has a knack for forcing fumbles. Brown will matchup with the league’s leading rusher in Firenze’s Gerard Johnson. Brown and the rest of this Parma defense will have to gang tackle and force turnover to slow down their opponents strong running game.

The Guelfi won their final two games in impressive fashion to insert themselves into the post season. Italian Andrea Fimiani leads the Guelfi at the quarterback position. The lone homegrown quarterback in the league is an exciting player to watch, Fimiani’s big arm and speed make him a true dual threat. When passing, Fimiani will look to get the ball to former Notre Dame (NCAA D1) safety Max Redfield.  The Italian passer’s speed pairs well with running back Gerard Johnson. Johnson’s had a dominant regular season rushing for 1,310 yards and 14 touchdowns in only 8 games. Look for Johnson to get plenty of carries again today.

Linebacker Fillipo Fort has been Guelfi’s top defender. The former UCF (NCAA D1) linebacker finished the season with 54.5 tackles and 13.5 tackles for a loss, leading the league in both categories.  Fort will need another big game as the Panthers offensive line is strong and Parma loves to run the ball. Former five star recruit and Notre Dame defensive back Max Redfield is eager to keep making plays in all three phases to get his Guelfi squad into the Italian Bowl.

The Parma Panthers have had a magical regular season. They aim to take this momentum and return to the Italian Bowl for the first time since 2015. Firenze and former NFL coach Steve Hagen’s talented squad look pull off the upset and return to the championship game for consecutive seasons.

Watch the game live here: Firenze Guelfi @ Parma Panthers, July 4, 16:00 CET (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)

Parma Panthers roster

Firenze Guelfi 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