LIVESTREAM: Team Sweden slight favorites against Finland at IFAF NY EJCs July 13, 3 p CEST (9 a EDT)

Can Finland recover from their opening day defeat in the 2017 IFAF NY European Championship tournament and find a way to stop a Team Sweden today at Gentofte Stadium, outside of Copenhagen?

The Swedish team enters the game with a lineup that boasts two of the most talented players ever to put on the yellow and blue jersey.

Finland were surprised by a well coached Danish team Wednesday, but are expected to rebound against Sweden after putting on a strong second half against Team Denmark.

A year ago in Vantaan, Finland won the Nordic Championship beating Sweden in the decisive game, but going into Thursday’s game, Sweden are the favorites to win. Not only is the team rested, but shortly before the tournament Sweden got a huge boost, when they added Swedish-Jamaican quarterback Michael Cox Jr to their roster.

Cox Jr. is born in Sweden, but grew up in Miami, where he is the starting quarterback for Southridge High School and led his team to the Florida State Class 8A championship last season. He has attracted interest from a number of the best schools in the country, like Florida State, West Virginia and Rutgers.

But the Swedish offense has other weapons including running back Villy Tengroth from the Swedish club, the  Tåby Flyers. He also is almost certain to sign with an American Division I-college, and has already received an offer from University of Massachusetts.

In fact, Sweden’s head coach Andreas Ehrenreich thinks Tengroth may be one of the most talented Swedish running backs he has seen in his 25 years in football.

Sweden has size

Apart from the two college-bound players, in speaking with, the Swedish head coach points to the size of his offensive players as something that will make a difference:

“We have five guys all around two meters, weighing a little over 100 kilos, and two tight ends that give us a seven man-attack against Finland and Denmark’s four man-defense – both countries play 4-3 defense.”

Players to watch include the Örebro Black Knights duo, Isaac Moore (1,98m, 135 kg) and Gustav Rydberg (1,96m, 120 kg) who were both nominated as rookies of the years in the Swedish Super Series.

Finns focus on own game

Finland has to focus on their own game, according to head coach Tero Virtanen:

“When you lose, you need to clean up your game. It’s not about the opponent, it’s our own game I’m focusing on. We don’t know much about Sweden, so we have to focus on ourselves.”

One of the positive things that the Finnish head coach was able take with him from the game against Denmark, was the strong defensive play from defensive back Mikko Behm, who has two interceptions, and linebacker Teemu Hukkanen who had a combined 11 tackles in the game.

Watch the game live here. Kickoff: Thursday, July 13, 3 p CEST (9 a EDT)


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