Preview of AFL round 19 matches
Preview of AFL round 19 matches (all game times are local).
FRIDAY, August 7
CARLTON v GEELONG at the MCG, 7.40pm
Head to head: Carlton 114 Geelong 91 Drawn 2
Last time: Geelong 19.19 (133) bt Carlton 12.5 (77) R10, 2008, Etihad Stadium.
TAB Sportsbet: Carlton $4.25 Geelong $1.20
Sportingbet: Carlton $4.20 Geelong $1.24
Geelong are vulnerable, but they should still be too good for the Blues. The Cats are coming off a couple of tight wins and continue to have significant injury problems a month out from the finals. But Carlton were woeful at times last Friday night against North Melbourne, especially for a side so determined to make the top eight.
Key: Blues full-forward Brendan Fevola, as always, is pivotal. Currently second in the Coleman Medal tally, he could make life very tough for the undermanned Cats defence. If he kicks a bag, the Blues are a big chance.
Tip: Geelong by 30 points.
SATURDAY, August 8
WESTERN BULLDOGS v WEST COAST at Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm
Head to head: Western Bulldogs 13 West Coast 24 Drawn 1
Last time: West Coast 17.14 (116) bt Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) R4, 2009, Subiaco.
TAB Sportsbet: Western Bulldogs $1.04 West Coast $9.50
Sportingbet: Western Bulldogs $1.06 Fremantle $9.50
The Eagles were impressive in upsetting Essendon last Sunday, but this is Etihad Stadium and the Bulldogs, who must win to hold their invaluable top-four spot. West Coast have not won at this ground since late 2007 and the Bulldogs’ pace will be too hard to control. While the `Dogs were far from impressive in the second half last weekend against Fremantle, they will do enough for their 13th win.
Key: Bulldogs utility Jason Akermanis produced one of his better games last week, kicking five goals. As he weighs up whether to keep playing next season, the Eagles must work out how to stop his run and negate his brilliant skills.
Tip: Western Bulldogs by 40 points
HAWTHORN v St KILDA at Aurora Stadium, Launceston, 2.10pm
Head to head: Hawthorn 74 St Kilda 70 Drawn 1
Last time: Hawthorn 18.10 (118) bt St Kilda 9.10 (64) 2nd Preliminary Final, 2008, MCG.
TAB Sportsbet: Hawthorn $1.85 St Kilda $1.85
Sportingbet: Hawthorn $1.80 St Kilda $2
This game has been rumour central over the last couple of days, specifically what sort of side the Saints take over Bass Strait. Betting was suspended until the scope of the Saints “outs” became known – Nick Riewoldt, Brendon Goddard, Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes and Steven Baker are massive omissions. By contrast, the Hawks are now a game out of the top eight. They must win and are playing at their second home ground, where they have a good record. This game could well kill hopes of the AFL’s first perfect season.
Key: After four weeks of solid form, Hawks key forward Lance Franklin only managed 2.7 in the loss to Port Adelaide. Fellow key forward Jarryd Roughead has only managed two goals per match for five weeks. One of them could renew acquaintances with former team-mate Zac Dawson, who has been a revelation this season.
Tip: Hawthorn by 20 points
ESSENDON v BRISBANE at the SCG, 7.10pm
Head to head: Essendon 9 Brisbane 10 Drawn 0
Last time: Brisbane 17.9 (111) bt Essendon 9.14 (68) R6, 2009, Gabba.
TAB Sportsbet: Essendon $2.25 Brisbane $1.60
Sportingbet: Essendon $2.30 Brisbane $1.63
Essendon are sliding into the abyss, having lost four of their last five. They have suffered too many injuries to key players, particularly captain Matthew Lloyd, and now lack the run and flair that made them so dangerous two months ago. Despite a terrible second half last week, Brisbane will be too strong. The Lions also have plenty to play for, given they are one game outside the top four.
Key: Collingwood showed how to restrict Lions captain Jonathan Brown last week, double- and even triple-teaming him after halftime as they shut down Brisbane’s midfield. But he has been in dangerous form of late and has caused Essendon plenty of pain in the past.
Tip: Brisbane by 20 points
ADELAIDE v COLLINGWOOD at AAMI Stadium, 7.10pm
Head to head: Adelaide 11 Collingwood 19 Drawn 0
Last time: Adelaide 13.12 (90) bt Collingwood 13.8 (86) R1, 2009, MCG.
TAB Sportsbet: Adelaide $1.75 Collingwood $2
Sportingbet: Adelaide $1.80 Collingwood $2.02
This will give a better idea of where the Crows are. They have reinvented themselves impressively this season, but can they break into the top four? Collingwood will go two games clear of the fifth-placed Crows with a win, so it is a vital game for the two teams. The Magpies recovered from a fumbling, bumbling first half to smash Brisbane, giving them nine wins from 10 games. They look a bit too strong.
Key: Magpies midfielder Dane Swan has not returned less than 30 possessions in a game since round 13. He warrants a hard tag and Robert Shirley is the most likely candidate.
Tip: Collingwood by 20 points
SUNDAY, August 9
NORTH MELBOURNE v MELBOURNE at Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm
Head to head: North Melbourne 64 Melbourne 83 Drawn 1
Last time: North Melbourne 15.11 (101) bt Melbourne 10.7 (67) R1, 2009, MCG
TAB Sportsbet: North Melbourne $1.33 Melbourne $3.15
Sportingbet: North Melbourne $1.37 Melbourne $3.10
North caretaker coach Darren Crocker is well overdue for his first win. The Kangaroos would have beaten Carlton last week, but for poor goalkicking in the last quarter. And no matter how patiently coach Dean Bailey pleads their case, Melbourne cannot shake the perception they are less than keen to finish the season with more than 16 premiership points. The Demons can win one more game this season and still gain a priority pick, but the `Roos are due.
Key: Nine behinds and one out of bounds on the full in the last quarter summed up North’s scoring problems. Their ability to manufacture goals will decide whether they can despatch the Demons.
Tip: North Melbourne by 30 points.
RICHMOND v SYDNEY at the MCG, 2.40pm
Head to head: Richmond 100 Sydney 80 Drawn 1
Last time: Sydney 14.10 (94) bt Richmond 11.9 (75) R6, 2009, SCG.
TAB Sportsbet: Richmond $1.75 Sydney $2
Sportingbet: Richmond $1.78 Sydney $2.05
The glory days are gone for this generation of Sydney players, but they remain disciplined and tough. They will be too strong for Richmond, who should have lost to Melbourne last Sunday. There is plenty of incentive for the Swans, with Michael O’Loughlin playing his 300th game. On Richmond’s side is that they had improved in their previous two weeks, plus the Swans have lost their last five games at the MCG.
Key: Richmond onballer Ben Cousins brings strong form into his 250th senior game. He’s been a rare highlight in a dismal season for the Tigers. The miserly Swans midfield will try to sit on him and restrict his brilliant ball use.
Tip: Sydney by 15 points
FREMANTLE v PORT ADELAIDE at Subiaco, 2.40pm
Head to head: Fremantle 6 Port Adelaide 14 Drawn 0
Last time: Port Adelaide 14.10 (94) bt Fremantle 11.4 (70) R11, 2009, AAMI Stadium.
TAB Sportsbet: Fremantle $2.35 Port Adelaide $1.55
Sportingbet: Fremantle $2.50 Port Adelaide $1.53
Port’s abysmal form line – they have not won consecutive games since round four – means this is a danger match for the Power. They must win to stay in the eight and the Dockers have been terrible this year, but Fremantle are at home.
Key: Giant Dockers ruckman Aaron Sandilands comes up against fiery Dean Brogan and veteran Brendon Lade. If Sandilands can take control, the Dockers’ chances improve noticeably.
Tip: Port Adelaide by 10 points.© AAP 2013
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