Allerod Armadillos (Denmark)
Maichingen Mustangs (Germany)
Moscow Tough Nuts (Russia)
Berlin Adler (Germany)
The Allerod Armadillos are on a war path. Last year they fell in the semifinals to MassFlag for the second straight year, lost the Champions Bowl final to rival SGD, and were shocked in the semifinals of the Danish playoffs, thereby losing out on a place in this year’s Champions Bowl. And this seems to have pissed them off. Frederik Ermler, Niklas Johansen, and Kristoffer Holmstrupp are probably the best players in Europe at their respective positions. Lately, they and all the Armadillos have been playing like it. They eviscerated the field at Sportmonda Bowl IV including two 20+ point victories over the Wanderers. By all accounts, the Armadillos are the odds-on favourites to bring the title back to Denmark.
Ok so what about the rest of the group? We think the Chieftains are a bit overseeded. They impressed two years ago with a 12th place finish. However, this year’s outfit will look almost nothing like that one as a number of those players will be suiting up for their own clubs. The Maichingen Mustangs will fancy their chances at a second-place finish and have started well in Germany this year. However, we fancy Alexey Lebedev to lead the Tough Nuts through. We always admire how they show up with a small squad but put in top performances year after year. Without a truly scary second team in the group, the Tough Nuts can lean on experience to push through.
Group B opponents await in the sweet 16 which is good news for whoever advances. Even the second-place team from this group shouldn’t be too put off by facing the group winner from B as they won’t have to tangle with one of Europe’s elite. Should the Tough Nuts advance, we could see them going on a little cinderella-like run to the quarterfinals. The Armadillos likely won’t be challenged all tournament until either the quarterfinals, if they run into the Ex Pads, or the semis against the Copenhagen Barbarians.
Moscow Tough Nuts