May 30th, 2023 00:00, by ELF Network

Week 1 Preview: Big rivalries and possible upsets

The third season of the European League of Football is just around the corner, and we are expecting fireworks to start off.

Sea Devils meet the Panthers in Week 1 of regular season! © Hamburg Sea Devils

May 30th, 2023 00:00, by ELF Network

Week 1 Preview: Big rivalries and possible upsets

The third season of the European League of Football is just around the corner, and we are expecting fireworks to start off.

With six new teams in the 2023 season and 17 teams in nine countries, you can expect surprises, over - and underachieving teams and a lot of talents and coaches proving their talent or experience.

Let’s have a look into week 1:

It’s a triple header to start off the season in Hungary, Poland and Germany, followed by rivalries and interesting duels.

Berlin Thunder at Fehérvár Enthroners (5 PM CEST – June 3rd)

The Berlin Thunder is one of the gray horses of the 2023 season, developing from a team with little chance to make the playoffs in 2021 to a true contender for this season. Since sports director Björn Werner and general manager Diana Hoge took over, the face of the franchise changed for good. A solid roster peppered with superstars is waiting to take the league by storm. The Enthroners on the other side are looking for a good start themselves. Quarterback Jerod Evans and the team seem to be in a good rhythm in the off season, flying under the radar in their first ever year. A physical team showing a variable playing style both on offense and defense could surprise some.

Paris Musketeers at Cologne Centurions (5 PM CEST – June 3rd)

Paris Musketeers go into their first season as the team that wants to take the Viking’s role as the new team, impressing from the start. The roster speaks volumes: Quarterback Zach Edwards, wide receiver Kyle Sweet or home-grown players like Amir Kilani or Remí Bertellin could develop directly into superstars in France. In Europe, the duo of Edwards and Sweet has been known since last year, at the latest. For the Centurions, the off season was branded by change. A new head coach, a new quarterback, a new identity? Cologne is an underdog. A team that is ready to bite at home.

Hamburg Sea Devils at Wrocław Panthers (5 PM CEST – June 3rd)

One of the biggest rivalries of the European League of Football goes into the next round. The Hamburg Sea Devils seem to still be the favorite amongst experts, even though the roster and playing style on offense changed quite a lot. The Wrocław Panthers, after signing Christensen as their head coach, and Sea Devils with one of the youngest rosters are the great unknowns. Are both teams fighting for a playoff spot this year? Let’s see on Saturday.

Helvetic Guards at Barcelona Dragons (7 PM CEST – June 3rd)

The Guards as one of six new teams meet the Dragons who look like they have found the 2022 identity all over again. A new head coach, a new quarterback in Conor Miller who has found his home in the south, and an underestimated team that could annoy the Guards in week one. Nonetheless, with Silas Nacita, the Guards have none other than one of the best running backs in Europe of the last 10 years – the other one is playing a day later in Munich. Can the Dragons reach the playoffs yet again?

Raiders Tirol at Munich Ravens (1 PM CEST – June 4th)

It was the big story of the off season: NFL running back Sandro Platzgummer is coming back to play for the Raiders. The same Raiders where MVP winner Sean Shelton went into retirement to focus on his career as a manager. Shelton is now a sports director for the Ravens. A team building a solid roster under the radar. Bavaria wants to make a statement against the Austrian neighbor.

Leipzig Kings at Prague Lions (4.25 PM CEST – June 4th)

The Prague Lions are ready to make a splash against an experienced opponent. Many players found a new home in Leipzig, being some kind of comeback team. With a lot of changes, the Kings want to be a hard-working team. Opponent Prague wants to use the home advantage right from the start. Two very interesting quarterbacks in Kenyatte Allen and Shazzon Mumphrey take the field for their respective franchise. In a battle, only one can leave as winner.

Frankfurt Galaxy at Rhein Fire (4.25 PM CEST – June 4th)

One of the toughest matchups in European football is on! While Rhein Fire under head coach Jim Tomsula want to go for it all, the Galaxy is looking for their second title in three years. Jakeb Sullivan against Jadrian Clark is a match made in heaven. Expect nothing less than a spectacular game.  

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