West Coast vs Geelong
To think just a few weeks ago these teams seemed a world apart. West Coast was equal first and we were wondering whether Geelong would even make the finals. Now the Eagles have crashed and the two teams are fifth and sixth, equal on points.
West Coast’s sixth loss of the season against Fremantle last week was their worst of the season. They were uncompetitive from the very start. It was in stark contrast to the Cats’ win over Hawthorn – they had a huge first quarter and were able to hold on when the Hawks came back.
The biggest thing in West Coast’s favour here is the home ground advantage, but Geelong’s last trip to Perthsaw them go down by only three points.
Geelong by 10
SC – Matt Priddis, Steve Johnson
St Kilda vs Melbourne
With just four matches to go it’s starting to look like St Kilda will need a miracle to make the finals. This match against Melbourne comes at the right time and they will take the points, but they need results falling their way to make the finals.
Melbourne finally notched its third win of the season over Gold Coast last week but it wasn’t entirely pretty. The Demons are simply waiting for their season to end now, and hopefully they can do so on a competitive note, with Brad Green announcing his retirement.
St Kilda by 35
SC – Brendon Goddard, Brad Green
Adelaide vs Fremantle
This is a critical clash for Adelaide, with Sydney and Collingwood playing each other this weekend. Adelaide needs to be at its best here with a resurgent Fremantle pushing hard for the final spot in the top eight.
The Crows have played well most of the year but were lucky to come away with the four points against Essendon last week. The Dockers are absolutely flying just at the minute however, playing with a hunger seldom seem in recent times. But will that be enough? Not in Adelaide.
Adelaide by 26
SC – Patrick Dangerfield, Matthew Pavlich
Gold Coast vs Greater Western Sydney
Greater Western Sydney’s remarkable and somewhat unexpected 34-point win over Port Adelaide last week was a crucial victory for the fledgling Giants, who moved themselves off the bottom of the ladder with the win.
Gold Coast has struggled all season, and will be desperate to avoid the ignominy of finishing on the bottom two years in a row, particularly with GWS new to the competition. The Suns are yet to win at Metricon this year but should get the chocolates over GWS.
Gold Coast by 22
SC – Gary Ablett, Chad Cornes
Sydney vs Collingwood
This is a match of massive importance for both teams. Sydney won’t lose top spot if they lost the game – their percentage is far greater than Adelaide’s and Collingwood’s – but it will make them even on points with Adelaide and Collingwood.
These ANZ clashes have been epic over the years and it will show just how good the Swans are. With Dane Swan out their midfield should find it easier to control things and they just need to silence the Magpies forward line, a task that hasn’t been too hard this season.
Sydney by 31
SC – Adam Goodes, Scott Pendlebury
Carlton vs Brisbane
With Carlton out of contention on all fronts except mathematical, they must now focus on finishing the season in strong form. They were gallant but not good enough against a far superior Sydney side last week.
Brisbane will continue to try and shuffle a few places on the ladder in the remaining rounds, hoping to jump a place or two higher than their current spot of 13th. The Lions will need a better showing than last week when they were belted byRichmond at the Gabba. Maybe bring Simon Black on from the start?
Carlton by 42
SC – Chris Judd, Simon Black
Hawthorn vs Port Adelaide
A match against a Hawthorn side beaten by Geelong by two points, at Aurora Stadium, after a week in which your coach walked out and your president said he’d follow, is not at all good timing but that is what Port Adelaide is faced with here.
Under new coach Garry “Whiskas/Buddha” Hocking, the players need to show some love for the jumper in what is sure to be an incredibly tough match. The Hawks were shattered to lose to the Cats last week and will leave no stone unturned in the run towards the finals.
Hawthorn by 86
SC – Lance Franklin, Travis Boak
Richmond vs Western Bulldogs
It all could have gone so much better for Richmond, but unfortunately it has not. They won’t make the finals for the first time in more than a decade, but the improvement has been shown and they have a better list than they have had for years.
The same can definitely not be said of the Western Bulldogs, who have slipped even further backwards this season. They will battle with Port Adelaide not to finish in the bottom four but with an awful percentage it will be tough for the Doggies, who aren’t much hope here.
Richmond by 35
SC – Brett Deledio, Daniel Giansircusa
Essendon vs North Melbourne
At one stage Essendon was looking nearly untouchable; winning every game in sight and looking a lock for the top four. It’s a shock then that they will now battle to make the top eight with a hungry Fremantle snapping at its heels.
Worse news for the Bombers is that they come up against aNorth Melbourneside in form that hasn’t been seen since they lost a preliminary final in 2007. The older stars like Brent Harvey and Drew Petrie are playing with reckless abandon and the kids are backing them up. They should make up for the after-siren loss earlier in the year here.
North Melbourne by 22
SC – Jobe Watson, Drew Petrie
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