LIVESTREAM: Viking Line Bowl – Team Finland @Sweden Sat. Oct. 7 1:30p CEST (7:30a EDT)

Every year Team Sweden and Team Finland play an international friendly game rotating the game between Sweden and Finland in what may be the oldest international rivalry in American football in the world. This year, the annual Viking Line Bowl as it has now been dubbed, will be played in Stockholm this Saturday.

If there were ever two countries in the world that would be considered to have a rivalry in American football, this would be the two, by a wide margin. Sweden and Finland have been playing this game if not annually, then on a consistently regular basis since 1992.Finland won last year’s contest to pull ahead in the series 11-10. However, it has not always been that even. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s Finland dominated the series having a 7-1 lead at one point. It took Sweden many years of catch up football to actually pull even until last year.

Finland won last year’s contest in Helsinki 31-17 and relied heavily on their powerful ground game. With a number of roster changes to the Finnish lineup. Finland head coach Tuomas Heikkinen:

“It’s a Team Finland game, and it is the Finland-Sweden rivalry, it should be very important to everyone involved until the final whistle on Saturday. Simple as that. In the larger picture, we’ll learn more about our strengths and not-strengths, and can use the game as a building block and evaluation tool for next year. Every year is different with different key players’ status and so on. We try to build on our estimated strengths with the group we have now, and hope to be able to make some decisions on and adjustments, scrapping and packaging X0-wise, to what we do overall and towards 2018, based on this coming game. I hope the flow of the game will allow us to field all our players as much as possible without compromising the game’s competitive nature.”

Team Sweden will have a different look at quarterback as neither Philip Juhlin nor Anders Hermodsson were available. In their place, head coach Andreas Ehrenreich has selected Ludwig Persson from the STU Northside Bulls and Jonathon Andersson of the Gothenburg Marvels. According to Ehrenreich, both have different styles but bring a great deal to the table.

Ehrenreich says they will be using this game to try out a number of new players, up to 10 of them with no national team experience at all. The 48 man roster will be a good mix of veterans, second year starters and rookies. The coaching staff, which also includes offensive coordinator Aaron Fiddler, head coach of the Orebro Black Knights and defensive coordinator Greg Gibson, head coach of the Limhamn Griffins, has worked together with the junior national team as well. The juniors won the IFAF NY version of the European championships earlier this year defeating both Denmark and Finland in the process.

Watch the game live here for free.

Finland @Sweden – Saturday October 7, 1:30p CEST (7:30a EDT), Grimsta IP

Women’s game: 11a CEST (5a EDT)

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