LIVESTREAM Italy: Parma Panthers @ Bologna Warriors, May 22, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12:00 pm ET)

The top seeded Parma Panthers (5-0) travel to nearby Bologna Saturday, May 22 to take on the Bologna Warriors (2-3) in a north Italian rivalry game.

For the undefeated Panthers, top seed for the post season is locked up, while the Warriors are fighting for one of two remaining playoff spots.

Parma has looked like the best team in Italy so far this season with impressive wins over the Milano Seamen, Firenze Guelfi, and the Ancona Dolphins. Strong offensive line play has paved the way for a rushing attack averaging 182 yards per game. The running combination of Nick Diaco, Allessandro Malpeli Avalli, and Modeste Pooda have made this offense unstoppable in key short yardage and clock management situations.

Parma Panthers @ Bologna Warriors, May 22, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12:00 pm ET)

Pooda commented on the team’s success this season:

“I am speaking on behalf of the team that we are very enthusiastic about where we have arrived so far, we have worked a great deal both on the field and in the gym in spite of COVID. We can’t wait for the playoffs to come, we’re loaded and ready to win.”

Defensively, Parma has tons of talent in pass rushers Vanni Belli and Ellia Viviani. In the secondary, look for Simone Alinovi to try and shut down a dangerous Warriors passing game. Unquestionably, the leader of this defensive unit is former Philadelphia Eagles and XFL linebacker Asantay Brown. Brown’s leadership and skills make him one of the leagues fiercest defenders in the country, racking up 26 tackles and multiple forced fumbles.

Brown commented on the team’s mentality heading into this week.

“Going into the last regular season game, our mind set is to stay on track with what our coaches are saying! I think it is important for us to continue to practice hard and never take anything for granted. In football if you don’t come prepared and focused it’s anyone’s game no matter what a teams record is!”

Bologna comes into this game with a chance at securing a playoff spot. The Warriors are one of four teams with 2-3 records vying for the two remaining playoff seeds. The Warriors have momentum as they beat the Ancona Dolphins last week in a defensive battle 14-6.

Against the Dolphins, Bologna’s defense was able to force two turnovers and hold Ancona to under 200 yards of offense. A clutch interception by Marcos De Jesus Santos Junior and 11 tackles from linebacker Tiberio Calbucci was enough to stifle a typically dangerous Dolphins’ offense. Bologna’s defensive unit will need to play inspired in order to stop an efficient Panther offense averaging 36 points a game.

Quarterback Nick Rooney and powerful running back Maxim Berezen make up for most of the Warriors offense. Berezen has been one of league’s best at breaking tackles as it often takes two or three defenders to bring down the bruising back. In the passing game back Rooney has been highly efficient throwing for nine touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. Look for the Warriors to involve talented French national team player Brian Billy more on offense.

Warriors quarterback Nick Rooney commented on the state of his offense:

“This season has been very interesting and not something I’m used too. On offense, we have had to mix a lot of players around. Our O-line is beat up, and we don’t have a another import fully on offense. Thus we have had to become very scrappy, live play by play, and more so manage the game.”

Expect a short game as both teams will look to run the ball and control the clock. A win would go a long way for Bologna and their playoff chances while Parma looks to keep playing great football.

Watch the game live here. Parma Panthers @ Bologna Warriors, May 22, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12:00 pm ET)

Bologna Warriors roster

Parma Panthers 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 stories from across the globe.