LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: Italy Set to Battle Serbia in International Clash

Team Italy will face Serbia’s national team this Sunday, September 13 at Stadio Tehil of Lignano Sabbiadoro in Italy in their second game of 2015.

Italy last hit the field in January of this year defeating Switzerland in an international friendly 30-19 in Milan. Ironically, the last game Serbia played was against Switzerland as well who they beat 17-0 in late 2014 in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Serbia finished fifth in the 2013 IFAF Europe Group B tournament. They defeated Spain handily after losing to both Denmark and the Czech Republic in group action. Italy, on the other hand, took themselves to the championship final in 2013, succumbing only to Denmark who moved on the Group A.

Team Serbia action

Serbia defeated Switzerland last year

This is a good test for both teams. Since Italy is already qualified for Group B, Serbia will get a good idea of their strength prior to their qualifier against Hungary October 10.

Team Italy’s head coach Davide Giuliano has whittled his roster down from the original 120 players in contention to 45. With a 10 man coaching staff, he is serious about improving the national team right now, but he is also intent on upgrading it and the core of young players coming up through the ranks.

He sees this game against Serbia as a step towards winning the Group B championship but he is also taking aim at the big guns in Group A. First though, he has to guide his team past Serbia.

“This will not be an easy game. They are a very good football team.”

With Tommaso Monardi at quarterback, Giuliano has a veteran who is used to pressure situations. Monardi has guided his Parma Panthers to the Italian championship  and also represented Italy on a number of occasions. Alessandro Di Giorgio will start at running back. His two top receivers will be Giacomo Bonnano and Paolo Biancalana.

The defense is anchored by veteran defensive end Michele Canali with middle linebacker Daniele Pezza and cornerback Alessandro Viatori other players to watch.

Team Italy vs Swiss6

Gregorio Brarbagallo catching a nice pass in win over Switzerland

Serbian general manager George Sarcevich and head coach Doug Adkins, who guided his Novi Sad Dukes to the Serbian championship this season, will turn to quarterback David Hanomihl Lukić and dangerous running back Mihailo Josović who was outstanding in the IFAF Europe Champions League this year.

On defense, linebackers Jovica Jović and Predrag Scekic lead a fast-improving squad. Adkins has also added cornerback Ljubodrag Anđelković and defensive lineman Nebojsa Mirkovic. This is a fast, aggressive defense and should give Italy some problems.

Kickoff: Sunday September 13, 3 PM (9 AM EDT)

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.