Once again the SELAF summer break is over, and the second half will start with matches between the leagues‘ top four teams when, on Saturday, South’s top two teams host leaders of the North conference.
Both the Wolves and the Gladiators will make first of their two remaining trips to Serbia, having already played their away game against the Ljubljana Silverhawks. This weekend the first team to clinch a home playoff appearance, the Wolves, will play in Belgrade, in a much anticipated ‚Clash of the Wolves” game, while the Gladiators will try to stop their losing streak at three in Novi Sad.
The game in Novi Sad starts at 4PM at FK Kabel stadium. The Gladiators‘ season hasn’t been a success so far and, based on this year’s scores, in Novi Sad they will face a team capable of adding another loss to their record. Based on how things stand now, in September, it will be a tough, tough game for the home side. Since the start of the season, they lost their receiver Ivan Dudaš, running back Marko Đanić, and lately this year’s leading players – Čaba Juhas and Jovan Plećaš. Alen Rizvić is also out, and it’s unsure whether tight end Mitar Bajčetić will play. They will also miss another receiver, WR/TE Rastko Jokić, not because of injury, but because of his, with Juhas out, move to quarterback, where he will make his debut.
‚Although we’ve already secured a playoff spot, this game is possibly one of our more important ones this season. It’s very important to us that we, after all the injuries that happened to us, lift the team spirit and increase our confidence for the forthcoming games”, said Jokić. ‚The Austrian team is different from the teams we’ve played in the past; they like to advance by passing, so on Saturday our defense will be tested.”
‚Clash of the Wolves” starts one hour later and the Vukovi are promising a real treat for the fans. That the most convincing team in SELAF, the Wolves, are playing, and that the two teams have combined for eight wins, will on its own steal some of the spotlight from the other game. Additionaly, in the words of team president Goran Nišavić, the Vukovi will try to beat the Wolves on and off the field – along with additional entertainment for the fans, the team will handout gameday t-shirts for the first 500 in attendance. Now all that remains is that players deliver on the field; Vukovi face similar problems to those the Dukes, although not as severe.
Starting left tackle Petar Vitorović and starting linebacker Miloš Todorović will miss the game due to injuries suffered while being on the Serbian national team. Left guard Branko Mutić was also injured, but is expected to play.
”We’re not in the best shape and we’re playing one of the better teams in the league, but I believe in the team and I also believe that we’re a lot better than we were. We learned a lot from the games at the national team level, especially from the game against Austria”, said Mutić.
The game will be played at Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade.