Kick-Off: 15:00 GMT
Records: Vikings 1-0, Black Panthers 0-0.
Last Meeting: AFL Week 10, 2013. The Vikings ripped through another game on their way to an undefeated season with a 48-23 hammering of the Panthers in Prague. Jesse Lewis was the star man for the Vikings, rushing for over 100 yards whilst imported quarterback Andrew Shoop had a stunning 52 pass attempts on the day for the Black Panthers.
Player to Watch: Vikings – The Vikings offence gives me quite a few options for this spot. This week I’m going to go with wide receiver Stefan Postel. If you recognise Postel’s name, it’s not because he played with the Vikings last year, but because he was one of the only bright spots on the now relegated AFC Rangers. In an offence that was based around the running talents of Craig Maynard, Postel still managed to accumulate 564 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season. In the Vikings game against the Raiders last weekend, Postel caught seven passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, a sign that he could be on for a big season in his new colours.
Black Panthers – When it comes to watching the Black Panther this year and especially this week, all eyes will be glued to ex-Oakland Raider, quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero. Unless there’s been a major improvement from last year’s team, the Black Panthers are going to be the most under-powered team in the AFL and even with a big name at quarterback, it’s unlikely to make enough of an impact to change what many will see as an inevitable loss to the Vikings this weekend. Still, he’s a quarterback with some quality and if he can build a quick rapport with last year’s leading receivers Jan Steigler and Jakub Wolesky then I imagine he will still put up some good numbers.
Key Matchup: Any team that face the Vikings this year are going to have to stop their star running back Emmanuel Moody if they are going to have any chance of even touching the defending champs. The Raiders were unable to contain Moody last weekend, but with a little bit of scout footage will the Black Panther be able to slow down the Vikings rushing attack?
Preview: Despite this being a home game for the Panthers, they will be travelling to Vienna to play at the Vikings practice facility, due to some deal between the team to hold it there because of the state of the Black Panthers home pitch. So with the Vikings playing another game in the comfort of their own home and in front of probably 500 of their own fans, there’s going to be no form of homefield advantage for the Black Panthers. With the Vikings having “tuned-up” against the Raiders last weekend and looking in imperious form, I don’t see the Black Panthers being able to stop either Gross or Moody and this one will probably get ugly, fast.
Prediction: An easy Vikings win 48 – 14.