LIVESTREAM: Team Sweden @ Team Finland, August 7, 12:30 CET (12:30pm, 6:30am ET)

Sweden and Finland will square off in this IFAF European Championship semifinal matchup

The neighboring rivals will play for the right to face either France or Italy in the October title game. Finland won the last matchup between the two rivals in 2018 as they were able to win the IFAF European bronze medal by defeating Sweden 35-14. Finland will once again have home-field advantage hosting the game in Myyrmäki Stadium in the city of Vantaa.

BD Kennedy leads team Sweden into the European semis looking to beat a strong Finnish national team. Sweden’s offense features veteran quarterback Philip Juhlin. Juhlin brings years of national team experience along with multiple championships with the Carlstad Crusaders. The Swedish-American passer will look to target big-bodied wideout Kevin Börzsei and speedy Johannes Lindeus. Running backs Josh Akena, and Timmy Göranssson will look to get in the endzone behind a strong Swedish offensive line. Veteran tackle Eric Blomgren should be able to open some holes for a backfield filled with both speed and power.

Quarterback Phillip Juhlin on the rivalry with Finland:

“Sweden versus Finland seems to always lead to good, physical football and close games. The past few years, Finland has been leading the matchup in wins, but we are looking to turn the tide this year”

Team Sweden @ Team Finland, 12:30 CET, (12:30pm, 6:30am ET)

The Swedish defense features big hitting linebacker Mattias Eriksson of the Carlstad Crusaders. Eriksson will look for defensive lineman David Strobel and Benjamin Egbudwie to shed blocks against a physical Finnish offensive line. In the secondary, veteran, Nico Petersson is joined by Göteborg Marvels Tobias Asp forming a tough defensive backfield to throw against. Head coach Kennedy will have this defense ready to go against an athletic group of Finnish skill players.

Coach BD Kennedy on the importance of this game:

“This is a huge game and that starts with the fact that it is Sweden versus Finland. This is a natural rivalry and always a great game,” Kennedy said after a hard day of preparations. “When you add the significance of a European Championship semi-final, it takes an already heated rivalry to a new level.”

Quarterback Miro Kadmiry leads the Finnish national team onto the field once again today. Kadmiry has made a case to be considered the continent’s best homegrown quarterback after three stellar seasons at the helm of the powerhouse Helsinki Roosters. Fans can anticipate Kadmiry to target Roosters’ teammate Arttu Erkkilä as the tall receiver and Kadmiry have had excellent chemistry over the years. In the run game, Roosters running backs Karri Pajarinen and Micky Kyei look to make an impact on the ground. Receiver Mikko Seppänen’s elusiveness and sure hands out of the slot could be the difference today as the speedy receiver has been one of Finland’s top playmakers over the years. National team veteran Miro Kadmiry on Finland’s preparation:

“Camp has gone well so far. We have been able to install everything we wanted and also been able to get to know each other. So I feel very comfortable where we are at this point.”

Defensively, head coach Mele Mosqueda’s team is headlined by a long list of Finnish football veterans, none more so than 37-year-old linebacker Santtu Äyräväinen, who makes his 28th appearance for the national team, the second-most in history. Niko Roiko and Akseli Olin bolster this secondary with both speed and physicality. Linebackers Timi Nuikka and Roni Salonen will have to tackle well as Sweden is sure to pound the rock against this Finnish defense. Young defensive lineman Christer Berg and veterans Okko Outinen and Jani Lindqvist are expected to make an impact in the trenches.

Lindqvist on the blend of veterans and new faces filling the Finnish roster:

“There has been really good competition and new players at the camp. It’s always an honor to put on the Finland jersey so I’m really excited.”

After winning the bronze in 2018, the Finnish national team has their eyes set on gold this year. They have a tough road ahead to do so as a much-improved Swedish team will visit them in Finland. Fans can expect this to be a hard-fought game between two countries rich with football talent eager for a chance to play for gold.

Watch the game live here Sweden @ Finland, 12:30 CET, (12:30pm, 6:30am ET)

Team Finland Depth

Team Sweden Depth

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