Meanwhile back at the AFL: Should a guy lose his job as an AFL footballer because of a sleeping pill? Is there more to the story than we read? And will Ratten lose his job at Carlton? A couple of injuries to key players haven’t helped his prediction of a top 4 finish which definitely won’t happen. And will Mick Malthouse be coaching Carlton? Doesn’t form a comfortable picture in my mind but what the Blues really need are the good players back and players like Kruezer and Judd to be playing better. That may be the coach’s fault. Tipping preview last week was 8 from 9 but it was an easy round. See how we go this week.
Collingwood V Carlton at the MCG Friday night
When these two teams met earlier there was a lot of hype about how good the Blues were this year. Since then Collingwood have not lost one game and are sitting on top of the ladder and Carlton have won just once in the past 6 weeks and are sitting in 10th spot! Games between these two teams are filled with emotion and the Blues will lift for sure but whether they can overcome a Magpie team that has strung together 10 consecutive wins is a good question. Expect a reversal of the result from the first game. Pendlebury will be given another week off but Tarrant, Sinclair and Didak may be available. Carlton has not been able to kick a big score for a while and that may be a problem against a strong Collingwood backline.
Collingwood by 33
North Melbourne V West Coast Eagles in Tasmania Saturday
North seems to be on a roll at the moment having dispatched the Crows and the Saints over the past couple of weeks and they could continue their winning streak against the Eagles if they play well. West Coast lost to Collingwood and Brisbane but was back to devastating form last week against the Gold Coast. They might have just a bit more talent in more positions than North but will have to play their best to win. In their last contest the Eagles won by only 20 points and that was in Perth. This is certainly a danger game for them.
West Coast by 16
Melbourne V Richmond at the MCG Saturday
The Demons have been consistent all season – consistently bad. The Tigers have a huge opportunity to win an important game in the context of their chance to finish in the top 8. They let one slip against the Crows last week after leading early but you can be sure they won’t allow that to happen again. Melbourne remains a council labourer’s dream – work in progress.
Richmond by 29
Sydney V Brisbane Lions at the SCG Saturday
Tip against the Swans at your own peril this year but Voss has brought his young Brisbane team on rather nicely as the season has progressed and they are playing well enough to present Sydney with a danger game. The Swans are looking at a top 4 finish but need to win against lower teams like this. Brisbane will want to keep alive their slim chance of making the finals so it will be a tough, close encounter.
Sydney by 15
St Kilda V Essendon at Etihad Saturday
Injuries to Saints players just keep happening and they can ill afford to be down in manpower against a very good looking Essendon team who also wants a top 4 finish. The game is no gimme for the Bombers and they will have to maintain pressure on the Saints to post a win. St Kilda is still in the mix to play finals but just. It’s hard to tip against Essendon when they are playing teams below them.
Essendon by 22
Port Adelaide V Adelaide at AAMI Saturday
The SA derby or is it called The Showdown there? – it’s always a tough encounter. The Power is playing well enough to trouble other teams but not quite well enough to win many games. They certainly have their work cut out for them here playing the Crows who also seek a top 4 finish. The loss of Walker through suspension will hurt Adelaide when they play the better teams but for this game he will be hardly missed. Why hasn’t Minson apologized to Pearce by the way?
Adelaide by 41
Hawthorn V GWS Giants at the MCG Sunday
The one saving grace for the Giants in this match was that Buddy was going to be out due to injury. Unfortunately he has made an amazing recovery but we didn’t hear about that on Twitter right? He kicked 13 goals a few weeks ago and given the opportunity he might snare another 10 in this match. Not a lot you can say about which team to tip because the game is a definite win for the Hawks. The margin? Extreme! Chad Cornes’ 250th might be a memorable one for the wrong reason.
Hawthorn by 101
Gold Coast Suns V Geelong at Metricon Sunday
Another win for the Cats and another loss for the Suns who have recently been Blighted! You have to wonder about the confidence the management has in their coach when they appoint Malcolm Blight to oversee the coaching strategies!? But Bluey McKenna has been re-appointed so you can assume his position is safe. Geelong coach Scott had a dream season last year but faces the possibility that the Cats may not make the finals this year. Is the era over?
Geelong by 55
Fremantle V Western Bulldogs at Paterson Stadium Sunday
The Dockers retain a slim chance of making the finals as they make up a logjam of teams battling for 7th and 8th on the ladder. Winning this game against a Bulldogs side that is rebuilding, or at least needs to be rebuilding, will help their cause. Freo was not shamed last week but the Bulldogs were and it’s hard to see them winning in Perth, even against the Dockers. Fremantle has 4 winnable games after this so they could get back into the mix for a place in the 8.
Fremantle by 28