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The ELF Report Week 7: ELF Experiences Growing Pains From Expansion With The Loss Of The Leipzig Kings

As the European League of Football started preparing for its third season in 2023, the league expanded to 17 teams, three divisions, and six playoff teams. Many of those expansion efforts have been successful, and the season is a success for most ELF teams. Only some teams have shown the ability to grow with the league, and over the last few weeks, it has become clear that the Leipzig Kings needed help to keep up.

In Week 5, there were rumors that the Kings were falling behind with their financial obligations to remain in the league. During Week 6, the Kings forfeited their first game allowing the Prague Lions to pick up a 35 to 0 forfeit win giving the Lions the first win of their season. During the week, the Leipzig Kings announced that they could not continue their season.

The loss of the Kings leaves several holes in the schedules of other ELF teams. This week the Cologne Centurions are on a bye week after having their game with the Kings canceled, and they have announced that they will be refunding the money to fans for tickets purchased for the game.

The teams in the ELF rely on ticket sales and fan attendance to maintain financial stability. So each team in the ELF has to find ways to pull together and overcome the loss of the Kings. The other 16 teams are stable, and as the season’s mid-point approaches, many teams are putting themselves in a position to make a run to the playoffs. We will continue to monitor the effects that losing the Leipzig Kings may have on the other teams in the ELF.

Week 7 Game Previews

Game #1

Visiting Team: Panthers Wroclaw (4-2, 3rd in the Eastern Conference)

Home Team: Vienna Vikings (5-0, 1st in the Eastern Conference)

Date and Time: Saturday, July 15th at noon CET

The Vienna Vikings expect to make a run to win their second consecutive ELF championship. They currently have one of the top offensive units in the league, averaging 43.6 points/game. On defense, they have given up 16.8 points/game.

The Panthers Wroclaw has played well so far this season and has the potential to challenge the Vikings in the Eastern Conference. This week is an opportunity to turn that potential into reality. The Panthers average 32.3 points/game on offense and give up 23.3 points/game.

Game Prediction: Vienna Vikings 45, Panthers Wroclaw 38

Game #2

Visiting Team: Raiders Tirol (4-2, 2nd in the Central Conference)

Home Team: Barcelona Dragons (2-3, 4th in the Central Conference)

Date and Time: Saturday, July 15th at 1:00 pm CET

The Raiders Tirol have started the season strong and are currently on their way to competing for a playoff spot. Tirol averages 27.3 points/game on offense and gives up 18.5 points/game on defense. Historically Barcelona is an above-average team in the ELF, so getting a win in Barcelona would be an essential win for Tirol.

The Barcelona Dragons have struggled to start the season in 2023. The Dragons have struggled to score and have produced 19.5 points/game on offense. Barcelona has also struggled on defense and has given up 28 points/game this season.

Game Prediction: Raiders Tirol 30, Barcelona Dragons 21

Game #3

Visiting Team: Berlin Thunder (4-2, 2nd in the Eastern Conference)

Home Team: Prague Lions (1-4, 5th in the Eastern Conference)

Date and Time: Sunday, July 16th at 7:00 am CET

The Berlin Thunder have had a solid start to the season and find themselves competing for a position to make a run for a post-season position. Berlin’s offense has produced 35.3 points/game, and their defense has given up 19 points/game. The challenge for the Thunder will be maintaining their success and avoiding injuries and lulls in their production.

The Prague Lions picked up their first win of the season last week due to the Leipzig Kings forfeiting the game. Prague has shown some life on offense, but they have struggled to stop teams consistently. Offensively, the Lions are scoring 21.6 points/game, and on defense, they are giving up 27.8 points/game.

Game Prediction: Berlin Thunder 42, Prague Lions 14

Game #4

Visiting Team: Milano Seamen (1-4, 5th in the Central Conference)

Home Team: Munich Ravens (2-3, 3rd in the Central Conference)

Date and Time: Sunday, July 16th at 7:00 am CET

The Milano Seamen are facing a slow start to the season, but as an expansion team in the ELF, a slow start is understandable. This week Milano faces another expansion team, so it will be an excellent opportunity to pick up another win and pull into a tie for 3rd place in the Central Conference. The offense of the Seamen averages 27.4 points/per game, and on defense, they allow 31.8 points/per game.

The Munich Ravens are another expansion team, but they have had more success than Milano. The Ravens are averaging 30 points/game on offense and giving up 30.2 points/game on defense. The Raven’s offense may be the deciding factor in this matchup.

Game Prediction: Munich Ravens 28, Milano Seamen 24

Game #5

Visiting Team: Hamburg Sea Devils (3-3, 3rd in the Western Conference)

Home Team: Frankfurt Galaxy (4-1, 2nd in the Western Conference)

Date and Time: Sunday, July 16th at 10:25 am CET

After making it to and losing the ELF championship games in seasons 1 and 2, the Hamburg Sea Devils experienced significant changes to their roster this season. Those changes have led to early-season struggles for the Sea Devils, but they are still in 3rd place in the Western Conference. The Hamburg offense is scoring 26.3 points/game and giving up 22 points/game on defense.

The Frankfurt Galaxy has consistently been one of the top teams in the ELF. Frankfurt’s success to start the season has met pre-season expectations, and each week, they have a chance to work their way to the top of the Western Conference. The Sea Devils will be a battle for the Galaxy this week. On offense, Frankfurt is averaging 32 points/game, and they have given up 28 points/game on defense.

Game Prediction: Frankfurt Galaxy 35, Hamburg Sea Devils 28

Game #6

Visiting Team: Rhein Fire (6-0, 1st in the Western Conference)

Home Team: Paris Musketeers (2-4, 4th in the Western Conference)

Date and Time: Sunday, July 16th at 10:25 am CET

The Rhein Fire started the 2023 season with a loaded roster and a goal of winning the ELF championship in their home stadium. So far this season, the Fire are still loaded, and they have had a spectacular start to the season. The offense of the Fire has averaged 41.7 points/game, and the Rhein defense has allowed 14 points/game.

The Paris Musketeers are another first-year team in the ELF, but they started the season with a roster that had potential for success this season. After six games, that potential has led to two wins. On offense, the Musketeers have scored 19.7 points/game, and on defense, they have allowed 28.5 points/game.

Game Prediction: Rhein Fire 50, Paris Musketeers 24

Game #7

Visiting Team: Stuttgart Surge (5-0, 1st in the Central Conference)

Home Team: Helvetic Guards (1-5, 6th in the Central Conference)

Date and Time: Sunday, July 16th at 10:25 am CET

The Stuttgart Surge has been the breakout team of the ELF so far this season. In the previous season, the Surge has been the league’s punching bag. The Surge is undefeated after multiple quarterback changes and relying on a solid defense. Stuttgart has scored 23.4 points/game, but their defense has held opponents to 12.8 points/game.

The Helvetic Guards struggled at the start of the 2023 season, but they have been more competitive in the last few weeks. For the Guards to find more wins, they must score more points and produce turnovers. The Helvetic offense averages 9.3 points/game, and they have given up 32 points/game on defense.

Game Prediction: Stuttgart Surge 30, Helvetic Guards 10

Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7

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