AFL ROUND 4
Greater Western Sydney v Fremantle
The Giants return to the site of their round one demolition job on the Doggies in Canberra while the Dockers will leave the confines of Optus Stadium after back to back games there over the past fortnight.
Toby Greene will make his return from a niggling hamstring injury that has seen him be sidelined for the last two weeks. In that time, the Giants have gone 1-1 going doing to big brothers, the Sydney Swans in the battle of the bridge last week. Josh Kelly and Rory Lobb are other notable injuries for the Giants this week while the Dockers have themselves an unchanged lineup. The Giants have opted to play Dawson Simpson in an attempt to curb Aaron Sandilands influence on this contest. A player that won't get the accolades he deserves because he's on the other side of the country is Alex Pearce. The Fremantle defender has has had two goals kicked on him through the first three rounds. He kept Joe Daniher goalless in round two and Charlie Dixon and Tom Lynch, two other premium forwards, to a goal a piece either side. Pearce should have the job on Jeremy Cameron here which sizes up to be the matchup of the game.
The Giants should have too much for the Dockers at their makeshift home ground but i'm expecting a Fremantle team, that since being belted in round one has strung two gritty wins together, to head to Canberra and give this Giants squad a real game.
Fremantle +30.51.5u at 1.96-1.5
Western Bulldogs v Sydney
To kick off round three we'll be looking to find some value in the Friday night clash between the Blues and the Pies. An insipid Blues were shell shocked last week when the Suns come to town, got an early jump and were never able to reel them in. The Pies improved on their round one performance and a couple of key Giants injuries last week meant they were able to hang around long enough to cover a handicap we thought they couldn't..
The monkey is off the Doggies back now- They have their season-opening win and the pressure comes off them now for at least a couple more weeks. They were able to stave off a Bombers team that dished up one of their worst performances in the past 18 months. The Doggies win was flattered by a Bombers outfit that couldn't have played any worse and were still in the game for large parts of the second half.You only have to see highlights from the game to see what I'm referring to here. The Swans responded to their round round two loss with a nice enough win against the Giants last week. The most frightening concept of this game was Buddy rolling through the midfield for the Swans and influencing the game higher up the ground than we are used to seeing. His around-the-ground kicking is highly underrated and he was able to directly contribute/assist four seperate goal kickers last week. The Doggies have three 1st or 2nd year players in their backline that look to well and truly have their hands full with this Swans forward line.
The Doggies were able to get their season underway with an, albeit small, upset victory against Essendon last week, however, this matchup will not be as kind against the Bloods who are one of the bigger powerhouses of the league. Buddy is set for a big showing here against this defensively-weakened Doggies team and when he's on, so are the Swans.
Swans -18.53.0u 1.93-3
Hawthorn v Melbourne
Melbourne were too much for Roos last week, coming from behind to surge over the top for an easy enough victory in the end. The Hawks on the other hand, backed up twice in one week to be convincingly be put away to the reigning premiers last Sunday.
The Demons patchy football has got them to a 2-1 record so far but could've easily have lost both games they've won. Two weeks ago the Demons had kicked themselves 40+ points clear of the Brisbane Lions before they switched off and allowed them to level up midway through the final term. Again, last week, the Kangaroos were able to skip out to a five goal to one first quarter lead before the Demons balanced themselves up. The jury is still out on the Demons at the moment, especially for a team that has been pitched to be a deep finals contender this year. The Hawks were easily accounted for by the Tigers last week in a game they were expected to be weak late. Having played earlier in the week, on Easter Monday, the Hawks were able to restore some credibility with a few late goals after the game was all but over. This Hawks team will be the best team the Demons have played this year so assuming that they have not been able to fix their patchy style of football in a week, the Demons could very well have their hands full with Tom Mitchell and co.
This game is defining for both teams this year and will say a bit about they are at. Melbourne have been thereabouts in the past fortnight knocking off two teams we don't expect to see past August this year in the Roos and the Lions. The Hawks will relish having seven days to recover and i'm expecting the Hawks class over the ball to be too much for the Demons to finish us off for the round.
Hawthorn to Win2.0u 2.2+2.4
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Round Four -2.1 6.5 -32% Round Three -0.35 5.5 -6% Round Two -1.5 6 -25% Round One +2.56 6 43% Total -1.39 24 -6%