AFL ROUND 9
GEELONG v WESTERN BULLDOGS
Friday night football will be a cracking affair this week as Geelong back at home for the first time this year host the Western Bulldogs. Both sides are (5 -3) for the season.
The Cats have hit the wall and lost their last three games and it has to be said they have been extremely poor getting towelled up all over the ground. Their drop in form has coincidently come on the back of star duo Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood struggling with form and niggling injuries. The Dogs will be well aware if they can restrict one if not both that will go a long way to them winning. Lachie Henderson returns this week for the Cats and they have missed him in the past fortnight.
The Dogs have made a number of changes this week after their narrow lost to West Coast in Perth last Friday. Mitch Wallis and Tory Dickson return to the side for the first time this year. Travis Cloke also returns up forward which will help the Dogs as they have been struggling to kick a winning score. The defence gets a major boost with Dale Morris back from injury while inspirational skipper Bob Murphy is back from a weeks rest.
The weather is expected to be a factor in this game with showers predicted.
Geelong will no doubt come out all guns blazing back at home on Friday night tv and looking to resurrect their season. With a wet track expected i can see this being a dour tight contest. The Doggies 8 games this year have all fallen in the margin of 1-39. I think they will have just enough class for a desperate home side. Take the Dogs at margin 1-39.
Western Bulldogs Margin 1-393 at 2.40-3
COLLINGWOOD v HAWTHORN
Early play for this week has to be Collingwood to beat Hawthorn. Price for the Pies is already shortening and will shorten a lot more before game time. Their is still a bit of 1.75 - 1.70 around the traps but most books are into 1.65 range.
The Hawks were absolutely terrible last week and lucky they played Brisbane. 16 other teams would have beat them. They do play better at the MCG but their midfield depth aside from Tom Mitchell is poor. The Pies mids should win a lot of ball. It remains to be seen if Adam Treloar plays this week but i think the Pies have enough class in the middle anyway. Ben Reid is a big out for the Pies but the Hawks have bigger worries with Cyril Rioli - James Frawley - Grant Birchall all out and Jaeger O'Meara hasn't played for a fortnight. The Hawks are in a transition stage and trying to get games into younger players and with the older players struggling for form and slowing down this is a perfect time for the Pies to beat them.
The Magpies were decent against GWS last week and led for the majority of the game before going down in the last minute. They should bring some confidence into this game on the back of that performance.
GWS v RICHMOND
GWS and Richmond do battle Saturday afternoon in Sydney. The Giants had a last minute win against the Pies on the back of some Stevie J magic last week while the Tigers lost after the siren against the Dockers in a game they never deserved to win.
The Giants win was full of merit and character after they lost two players before quarter time with concussion and thats not to mention their lengthy injury list. As impressive as the win was i have a feeling it would have taken a lot out of their tank and i wouldn't be surprised if they were a touch flat this week against the Tigers. They do regain goal sneak Toby Greene but have lost star mid Steven Conigilo for ten weeks. They are not having much luck with injuries this year GWS.
Richmond having started the season with five straight wins have come back to earth in the last three weeks. They were poor for three quarters last week against Fremantle and then nearly stole the game in the last. Dion Prestia is a handy inclusion this week.
Their is expected to be rain about Sydney on Saturday and that may help the Tigers keep it close. The Giants should win but i feel the weather and the fact the Giants are still missing key players that it wont be a blow out.
Take the Giants at the margin 1-39.
BRISBANE v ADELAIDE
The hapless Brisbane Lions face the Adelaide Crows on Saturday night at the Gabba. The Crows looked the team to beat until two weeks ago when North dealt them a nice hiding in Hobart. Then last week the Demons kicked nine goals straight and the Crows had no answer.
The Crows will be looking to get their season back on track and they couldn't have asked for an easier opponent than the Lions. In their eight games this year Brisbane have only managed to keep one side under 100 and that was the Suns in round 1 who managed 96. The Lions have a young inexperienced defence. Harris Andrews is their number one key defender and a player for the future but he is just in his 3rd season and has played 44 games.
Adelaide by contrast have probably the number one forward line in the competition and have averaged 120 points scored this season. It's fair to say the Crows will get plenty of looks at the goals this week and Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts should fill their boots.
Brisbane is expecting showers Saturday morning and early afternoon but should clear well before the game.
The Lions three games at home this year the total score has been 195 - 186 - 217.
The total here of 186.5 does not seem enough considering Adelaide's ability to score heavy and the Lions poor defensive record.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI 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 -38.71 334 -12%