Minnesota Vikings v Pittsburgh Steelers: Countdown to Wembley kickoff begins

Jared Allen - Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have touched down in London ahead of their International Series game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday evening.

It starts a week of festivities in the capital as the NFL builds up to the kickoff, Regent Street will host an NFL street party on Saturday afternoon that will include visits from both Steelers and Vikings players.

The game itself will have a lot riding on it because both teams enter the game at 0-3 and desperately trying to kick-start their season to keep any slim playoff hopes alive.

There will be no doubt that it will be a physical clash both sides pride themselves on playing hard and fighting for every yard.

Both sides have a rich history of running the football well but neither has really got any kind of success this year on the ground. Minnesota will be hoping that reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson breaks out for his first big game of the season.

Despite his fullback Jerome Felton being back you can expect Peterson to have a hard time against the Steelers run defense.

Both quarterbacks will be under scrutiny after mixed starts to the season. Christian Ponder for the Vikings and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger will want to show fans and pundits what they can do out on the Wembley field.

Whichever team loses on Sunday can essentially write off this season because at 0-4 there is no chance of qualifying for the playoffs in January.

I think having a UK game this early in the season will create a different atmosphere because both teams are still trying to find their way in the season.

It is set to be an even bigger occasion this year and I’m sure that both teams along with the fans will enjoy the whole experience immensely, it is incredible to watch how this event has grown over the past six years and will continue to grow in the future.

image: © Mike Morbeck