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AFL ROUND 1
North Melbourne v West Coast
I'm not a huge fan in taking the minus on away sides, especially Round 1, but happy to make exception here. North head into season 2017 minus the retired Boomer Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito. Drew Petrie is now at West Coast. Daniel Wells is now a Pie and Aaron Black a Cat. They have added Nathan Hrovat from Dogs and Marley Williams from Pies - both struggled to get a game for their respective sides. Also missing from Round 1 will be the Roos best mid Ben Cunnington (susp) and promising young forward Mason Wood (injury). Ben Brown did not play any of the pre season fixtures and is not certain to play. That leaves a side missing a lot of experience and quality. Worth noting the Kangas only won 2 games after round 11 last year.
Their opponents will be missing NicNat which hurts when opposing Goldstein but they have acquired a handy pick up in Sam Mitchell!
The Eagles don't have the quickest mids but in Mitchell - Priddis - Gaff - Shuey, I think they can win enough ball to feed their awesome forward line.
Fremantle v Geelong
Fremantle was a major disappointment last year winning just four games for the entire season. As a result Ross Lyon was busy in the off season bringing in a number of quality players to the club. Joel Hamling (B'dogs) Brad Hill (Hawks) Shane Kersten (Cats) and Cam McCarthy (GWS). All four new additions will make the Dockers are much better looking side all over the field. Not to mention they welcome back Brownlow medalist Nat Fyfe who missed last year through injury. Fyfe alone makes them a 5 goal better side. Big Sandilands is set to dominate the ruck again with the 3rd man up rule being revoked. No side benefited more with the 3rd man up rule than the Cats who had the likes of Blicavs.
Geelong looked solid for most of 2016 but seemed to fall away late in the season where they looked slow and lacking goal scoring power. They enter 2017 without two of their champions in Enright and Bartel. They rely heavily on Dangerfield and Selwood with not much depth below.
I see Fremantle at home taking this right to Geelong.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Grand Final +9 11 82% Finals Week Three -4.2 12 -35% Finals Week Two +0.42 11 4% Finals Week One +7.18 11 65% Round Twenty-Three -9.09 21 -43% Round Twenty-Two +9.47 16 59% Round Twenty-One +8.55 13 66% Round Twenty -8 17 -47% Round Nineteen -9.2 13 -71% Round Eighteen +3.01 15 20% Round Seventeen +9.88 16 62% Round Sixteen -4.05 15 -27% Round Fifteen +0.12 13 1% Round Fourteen -2.48 15 -17% Round Thirteen +1.93 5 39% Round Twelve -6.3 14 -45% Round Eleven -2.1 9 -23% Round Ten -5.26 10 -53% Round Nine +4 11 36% Round Eight +10.01 9 111% Round Seven -10.26 17 -60% Round Six -2.4 14 -17% Round Five -12.3 18 -68% Round Four -5.21 11 -47% Round Three -1.16 10 -12% Round Two -11 11 -100% Round One -0.27 6 -5% Total -29.71 345 -9%