AFL preview: The final countdown
Collingwood v Geelong, MCG, Friday night
I was at the round 8 clash between these two current day powerhouses and witnessed a classic game, and it is expected we will see a similar affair tonight although both teams have nothing to play for, except only a win. Here is something to note however, if Geelong are to lose and the Hawks who travel to the Gold Coast win by a very large margin, the cats could slip to third position by percentage.
Although talk around is that both teams will try to get through unscathed, once the ball is bounced look forward to both teams playing hard for the points.
Prediction: Collingwood by 12.
Gold Coast v Hawthorn, Metricon Stadium, Saturday afternoon
Hodge, Buddy, Rioli, Lewis and Sewell amid other who are all staying in Melbourne while their teammates travel north. Sam Mitchell is the big inclusion. The burning question is can the Gold Coast get up at home after a long, long season?
Prediction: Hawthorn by 35.
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium, Saturday afternoon
Fremantle defeated the dogs at home in round 5 by 7 points but that result will be reversed on Saturday at Etihad. Both clubs have been poor in 2011 and can’t wait for the year to end, especially Fremantle with their extensive injury list. This is a game of retirees and a coach looking to show why he should get the gig next year.
Will Barry kick 10?
Prediction: Western Bulldogs by 42.
Sydney v Brisbane, SCG, Saturday afternoon
Sydney was very good last week against the cats at Skilled Stadium playing with strong emotion.Brisbanecomes off a loss against West Coast and a bye in round 23. When half time ticks over and the swans are leading by several goals, it will only get worse for Brisbane as I suspect motivation levels will drop in Voss’ men.
Prediction:Sydney by 28.
Carlton v St Kilda, MCG, Saturday night
Only 3 points split these two finals contenders in round 7 with the blues triumphing. This is probably the game of the round in my eyes. Both teams will want to take confidence into the first round of finals and thus it is set for a tough contest.
Can Riewoldt stand up and deliver against a tougher competitor in Carlton? Will Dempster continue his good form and impede Judd’s dominance? Is Jamison fit enough to play on the saints key forwards?
While the blues are locked in, St Kilda can move on the ladder.
West Coast v St Adelaide, Patersons Stadium, Saturday afternoon
This should be a training session for the eagles at home. Do I need to say more?
Prediction: West Coast by 39.
Port Adelaide v Melbourne, Adelaide Oval, Sunday afternoon
The only interesting element with this game is that it is the first-ever match to be played at Adelaide Oval.Melbournehas not won in Adelaide against the power or crows since 2001 – will the hoodoo continue? Port Power were good last week against the bombers until the final ten minutes when they let Essendon just walk in and kick goals uncontested, while Melbourne defeated the Gold Coast at the ‘G.
If there was ever a ‘who cares up’, this would be it.
Prediction: Port Adelaideby 3.
North Melbourne v Richmond, Etihad Stadium, Sunday afternoon
This should be a good game to end the regular season.
Richmond stormed home last week when they ventured into crow-land (they hadn’t beatenAdelaidesince 1999 over there), meanwhile the kangaroos were good for a mere one-quarter against St Kilda. The roos once again failed to deliver on the big stage when it counted.
Prediction:Richmond by 22.