Friday, May 13, 2011

AFL Preview Round 8

Last week 6/8 = 39/53 (73.6%)
I will be missing the coverage of the big match between Collingwood and Geelong on Friday night as I will be teaching English to 25 or so Chinese petroleum workers. This new contract has put an end to my happy AFL Friday nights. By the time I get home it will be 10.45pm EST. My other classes barely clash with any other fixture so future Friday night games will have to be replayed if they are any good. I was listening to 3AW this morning and there were a lot of complaints about a gas smell in some Melbourne suburbs and my theory is that the open stack they have on the petroleum refinery here in northern China is to blame. It was belching out some very noxious looking fumes most of the day yesterday and the wind direction was pushing that smoke directly over Australia and subsequently the Melbourne metro area. To add to the suspect environment being experienced we had some sort of sand storm blow in from Mongolia overnight giving the whole province an eerie, orange glow. Anything exposed outside was covered in fine, sand particles and even keeping the inside of the living area clean was a waste of time.

The blurred vision resulting from this atmospheric pollution doesn’t help with trying to see the tipping this week either as teams provide their supporters with puzzling form week in and week out. To make matter worse, the two teams that have shown consistent form in all 7 rounds so far meet at the MCG making that a difficult result to predict for the opposite reason. All these middle of the road teams are finding it hard to maintain consistency except, of course, the bottom teams who you know you shouldn’t tip because they just can’t win…..then do.
We are managing a reasonable tipping percentage overall but need a good 7 or 8 to rise above the pack. Conversely a 4 or, heaven forbid, a 3 right now would take 6 weeks of good tipping to overcome. So fingers crossed for some of the harder games which can go either way. Good luck.
Geelong V Collingwood at the MCG Friday night
There has already been much written about this clash of the ladder leaders, a certain blockbuster for the AFL and for the fans. What has changed between these teams from last year? Ablett has left the Cats. Hard to pick against the Pies. Not so sure it will be that close a game either. I was at the prelim final between these two teams last season and it was all Collingwood. If the margin is greater than 6 or 7 goals the Pies will be unbackable for the flag. And no, they don’t need a loss to make them stop thinking they are invincible. Are they?
Collingwood by 21
North Melbourne V Melbourne at Etihad Saturday
The Demons certainly turned it on last week against the Crows. They should have turned off their Twitter though. Trengrove might get off. North might win this game. The teams, although well apart on the ladder, are not so far apart in on-field talent. Can you smell an upset? Apart from the loss of Trengrove the Demons also lost Grimes and Spencer for the season. Considering that there is little between the teams these losses may be the difference.
North Melbourne by 11
Adelaide V Gold Coast Suns at AAMI Saturday
The Suns could win two consecutive games playing Adelaide at AAMI. The Crows have copped a real blast from supporters and press alike in the past week and it might be enough to fire them up. They should win but it won’t be easy. Strange as it may seem only percentage separates the teams on the ladder! I think the Crows will bounce back with a vengeance.
Adelaide by 38
Brisbane Lions V Essendon at the Gabba Saturday night
We should not be tipping on form considering some of the results during the first third of the season but I am reluctant to offer an upset here by the Lions. I’m not sure what the Lions can do to turn around their season but whatever it is it won’t be applied in this game.
Essendon by 31
Sydney V Port Adelaide at the SCG Saturday night
The Power might be able to win this game if the Swans mistakenly get dropped by the team bus at the Telstra Stadium in error. Sydney might prefer that the game was played at Telstra because they have not won a game at the SCG yet this season. They will fix that statistic this week.
Sydney by 52
Hawthorn V St Kilda at the MCG Sunday
The Saints are starting to get their mojo working a bit more and almost knocked off the Blues last week. All these early losses in the season aren’t making life any easier for St Kilda but Hawthorn are far from being a premiership threat either. This could be a really close game. The last time they met it was a draw and as we keep breaking records wouldn’t that be a hard one to ever happen again? Two draws in consecutive games?
Hawthorn by 12
Western Bulldogs V Richmond
It’s a brave man that will pick the Bulldogs to beat any up and coming team, particularly the Tigers who are looking like a chance for the final 8 – one of the better teams amongst the middle tier group. Not sure what the problem is at the Western Bulldogs but if they don’t arrest the slide they will be relegated to finals history like the Saints. The Bullies still have a few outs and one of their best from last year, Lake, is playing in the VFL again this weekend. The Tigers have no injury concerns and not a lot of individual player problems with for either. I’m tipping the Doggies will start their long road back to form with a win here.
Western Bulldogs by 16
West Coast V Fremantle at Subiaco Sunday
The dreaded western derby should have the local paper going ballistic. The Eagles have improved significantly from last year while I think Freo are about the same. It’s about time the derby in that state was a draw. Maybe the Dockers by a nose. Pavlich continues to play in the centre of the ground but he might be needed back up forward soon. The last quarter fade out by Freo against Richmond last week makes tipping them this week a bit of a risk but the Eagles haven’t beaten the Dockers in a derby for some time so maybe there is a psychological barrier. The West Coast losses this season have been honourable. I’m tipping Freo but the game could go either way.
Fremantle by 7

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