Preview: Germany v. Austria – A Perfect Showdown; Hosts Aim for First International Title!


To me, it seems like Austria is the big favorite for this game. But never count the defending champions out, they might not be as talented but they usually play great as a team and they have an experienced coaching staff.

It will be the 3rd game in a week for both teams, so rest will be a factor. Germany has had one more day and Austria had a really tough game against France on Wednesday in crazy rainy conditions. Germany should be more fresh and well, summer is finally here in Vienna, so it should over 25 C or 77 F degrees at kickoff.

But you can feel Austria is on a mission. It is time for them to finally prove there are the best team in Europe. This team is young, they have the potential to dominate European American Football for the years to come.

These two teams have met only once in the last few years. It was the first game of the 2010 European Championship. The game was a thriller all the way to very end, with Germany finding a way to win 22-20.

Also tonight, Sweden will face Denmark for the 5th place game. Tomorrow at 2 p.m. CET/ 8 a.m. EST, France will play Finland fin the Bronze Medal match. That game for third place is also a qualification game for the 2015 World Championships organized next year in Stockholm, Sweden. Only the top 3 teams from the 2014 Eat the Ball European Championships and Sweden, as the host country, will qualify to compete in Stockholm next summer. France is still the huge favorite to get bronze, but after that tough disappointing loss to Austria, we will have to see how they bounce back mentally. It would be a disaster for France to not qualify for the World Championships.

The Austrian Federation and Austrian media have done a great job promoting the tournament and the finale. The 2011 World Championship finale played between USA and Canada in the same stadium in 2011 was a huge success with 20,000 fans in attendance and a fun party-like atmosphere in the stands. Now with Austria playing for the first time for a Gold Medal in a big international tournament, especially against their German neighbors, many expect the same type of big and loud crowd on Saturday night. Nearly 10,000 people came to support Austria play France in Graz on Wednesday,  Austria might be a small country but the American Football community here is crazy about their National Team, plus anything involving the rivalry with Germany brings crazy passion from the proud Austrian people. So who knows, we might get a new record for amateur European American Football with 30.000 or 40.000 people.

Best level of football in Europe, beautiful stadium, big crowd, and a passionate rivalry. Ernst-Happel-Stadium in Vienna, Austria is the place to be on Saturday night!


Football WM 2011, 16.07.2011, Ernst Happel Stadion, Wien, USA vs. Kanada

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Vincent Lelard is a Frenchman and former Head Coach of La Courneuve Flash (France) and Offensive Coordinator of the Vienna Vikings (Austria). He has been involved in American Football in Europe for almost 25 years. Today he lives in Vienna and