Friday, April 8, 2011

AFL Preview Round 3

Collingwood V Carlton at the MCG Friday night
Both teams undefeated sitting 1 and 2 on the ladder. It’s an AFL promoter’s dream. Blockbuster!! Unfortunately the dream will turn into a nightmare for Carlton. In round 18 last year the Pies at one stage of that game were 12 goals ahead and went on, easing up, to win by 8 goals plus. What has changed since then? Swan and Judd, Pendlebury and Murphy, O’Brien and Gibbs. For every Carlton champion player there is an equivalent Collingwood player. So when you look at the next rung we can continue to name Collingwood players but not their equal Carlton player. Assuming the champs nullify each other in that they are as effective as each other then there seems to be more Magpies on that next level that will help them win this game.
Depth they call it.
Collingwood by 30
Western Bulldogs V Gold Coast Suns at Etihad Saturday
The good news for the Suns is that they formed a team to join the AFL. Bad news is that they have to play 16 other teams and not a get a bye each week. This will be week two of an ongoing, hard initiation in season 1. A loss by less than 50 points will be a plus but they would have learnt a lot from last week. If some of the Gold Coast big names can contribute more then they might avoid a 100 point flogging.
Western Bulldogs by 72
Adelaide V Fremantle at AAMI Saturday
The Dockers let a great chance slip last week when they kicked poorly to lose to the Cats at home and meeting the Crows at home is not a good recovery game. They will struggle to win this but we can expect a close game. The injury list at Freo is looking a little ominous and as a team they cannot afford to lose too many of their front line players. Pavlich will become the highest game player for the Dockers this week and it will be a record hard to beat as he still has a few seasons left in him. Both teams have a good young list so it will be interesting to see how the two teams fare during the year. But it’s Adelaide for me at home.
Adelaide by 10
Richmond V Hawthorn at the MCG Saturday night
Great effort by the Tigers last week to draw with the Saints. They should acquit themselves well again in this match and with Rioli out for the Hawks their chances have improved. However, reality says that Richmond is still not good enough to beat Hawthorn. The Tigers did alright without Reiwoldt as the spearhead after he was concussed early in the game and maybe Richmond get too Jack focused. It’s an interesting argument and how does the coach react this week? I just can’t see the Richmond backline stopping Buddy and Roughead enough times to win the game.
Hawthorn by 21
West Coast V Sydney at Subiaco
Another West Coast injury to one of their better players Beau Waters doesn’t help their cause. Swans and the Eagles always put up a good scrap but can the Swans handle another close one? Can the Eagles? Will we get another draw? After a hard game last week and the travel west Sydney might struggle in the last quarter. Goodes, Bolton and O’Keefe were stand outs in their last gasp draw against the Bombers last week and it’s the veterans at West Coast as well in Cox and Embley that have been playing well. The history of the two clubs indicates a close game.
West Coast by 14
Melbourne V Brisbane Lions at the MCG Sunday
When a cancer battler like Stynes gives the Demons a serve for their insipid second half effort last week you can bet there will be a reaction strong enough to make Melbourne try harder this week. Fortunately for them they play the Brisbane Lions so it’s almost a guaranteed win. A bleak day last week for the Lions and it won’t get a lot better after a day in Melbourne at the MCG.
Melbourne by 31
Geelong V Port Adelaide at Skilled on Sunday
It’s almost impossible to give Port a chance to win this game so we won’t and neither will the Cats. Geelong was supposed to be getting older and slower but they have 2 wins from 2 games and look okay. They will be there in September. Port is in a rebuild stage and an early phase of that as well. No hope to beat Geelong at Skilled where the Cats haven’t lost since 2007 against…..well…it was Port Adelaide.
Geelong by 66
St Kilda V Essendon
Apparently the Saints are still depressed about their loss in the GF against Collingwood last year hence a lack of motivation. The loss of Lenny Hayes is not good either but the Saints should still be too strong for Essendon whose early season form faltered a little last week when they allowed the Swans to draw a game in which they had a 28 point lead. The Essendon pace might be a problem for the Saints but one would think that some tough games and all that experience will hold them in good stead to win their first game of the season.
Saint Kilda by 29
North Melbourne - bye

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