Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AFL Preview Round 18

Essendon v St Kilda - OK, the Bombers had an unlikely win, but circumstances conspired against their opponent. The Saints had a tough fought draw. Hmm, all that is irrelevant. We are talking about a very bad side v a very very good side. Saints by lots, lets say 45. Upset chance 10%

Collingwood v Carlton - Will this be an epic clash of two titans? Er, no. That was the early 80's and this is 30 years down the track. The Pies are one of the form sides of the comp. Very even on every line and capable of beating anyone. The Blues in contrast are battling to stay in the 8, and whilst they got a fortuitous win last week, it was far from convincing. Pies will put a hard tag on Judd, and it will be all over. Pies by 50. Upset chance 15%

Port v Hawthorn -Port got their first win under Primus last week, and they played good footy to do it. Is it a turning point? Not sure. The Hawks owned the Saints but couldn't get over the line. They played great footy, and ultimately are a better side than Port. However it is in Adelaide and Port have a good record against the Hawks, although its not as impressive in recent times. I'm going Hawks because frankly they should win seeing they are a contender. Hawks by 30, upset chance 40%

Sydney v Geelong - Sydney are in all sorts of trouble. A dreadful loss to Melbourne last week and excellent win against the Blues (no big thing really) and to North but a loss to Richmond really don't paint a pretty picture. Geelong are Geelong and regardless of where they play they tend to do the job. You just don't see average or worse sides beat them. Cats by 45, upset chance 5%.

Brisbane v Melbourne - Intriguing game, with Vossy already playing mind games and dampening expectations with his "Melbourne will be a super team" comments. Reality is that whilst Brisbane have been woeful and have no confidence, if Black plays and Brown and Fev can contribute, at the Gabba an inexperienced team will find them hard to stop. However, the Dees have found a tiny bit of form and in that they create a handful for the Lions. Form wins out for me in this one. Dees by 10, upset chance 49%

Richmond v Adelaide - Another intriguing contest. Adelaide were humbled last week after some fine form, but in their coaches words, we're actually playing that bad. Richmond was flogged mercilessly by the Pies. Have the wheels fallen off both of these sides? My guess is more that Richmond bowed to a much better side and Adelaide copped an emotional one. I tend to go with the rule of tipping against teams coming off a Showdown, but I think there is a bit more to the Crows than the Tiges, oh and a 9-1 record to the Crows in the last 10 is telling. Crows by 18, upset chance 40%

Dogs v North - The Dogs have found form of late and will simply be too classy for the Roos I would expect. Its not that the Roos are without a chance, its just that it is very unlikely that they would beat a contender who is ramping up their formline. Dogs by 32, upset chance 20%

Fremantle v West Coast - This is a hugely important game for both clubs. If Freo win, they stay in touch with the 4, if West Coast win they could well lever themselves off the bottom. Going in Freo's favour are their record against the Eagles (they always beat them), and the fact that West Coast is pretty dreadful. Freo should win, and there will be riots if they don't. Freo by 30, upset chance 20%

So if I'm 8 form 8 here is what the ladder will look like:

1. Pies 58 points
2. Cats 56
3. Saints 54
4. Dogs 48
5. Freo 48
6. Hawks 42
7. Carl 36
8. Sydney 36

9. Adelaide 32
10. North 32
11. Melbourne 30
12. Essendon 24
13. Port 24
14. Brisbane 20
15. Richmond 20
16. West Coast 16

And the only change will be North and Adelaide swapping places due to %. The big game for the ladder is probably Dogs v North. If North wins they stay 9th but on equal points with the Blues and Swans, and Freo moves back into 4th.

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