AFL Round 10 preview panel
Preview of AFL Round 10 matches (all times AEST).
FRIDAY, June 1
St Kilda v Richmond at Etihad Stadium 7.50pm
Head to Head: Saints 69 Tigers 102 drawn 3
Last clash: Round 2 2011 – Saints 13.17 (95) drew Tigers 14.11 (95) at MCG
Tab Sportsbet: Saints $1.80 Tigers $2.00
Sportingbet: Saints $1.80 Tigers $2.00
Two clubs that have had impressive wins over highly-rated opponents in recent weeks and are pressing for finals berths makes this clash crucial. St Kilda have not lost to the Tigers since 2003, although their most recent meeting was a draw. But this year’s Richmond are much-improved, particularly through recruit Ivan Maric in the ruck, while the Saints’ ruck brigade has been badly depleted by injury. The continued absence of Sam Fisher in defence will hurt also.
Key: Saints goalsneak Stephen Milne kicked 4.7 in last year’s draw, so Tigers recruit Steven Morris will have a big job, with St Kilda’s Ahmed Saad and Terry Milera to also test Richmond’s defence.
Tip: Tigers by 6 points
SATURDAY, June 2
Geelong v Greater Western Sydney Giants at Simonds Stadium 1.45pm
Head to Head: Cats 0 Giants 0
Last clash: N/A
Tab Sportsbet: Cats N/A Giants $34.00
Sportingbet: Cats $1.01 Giants $17.00
Geelong haven’t hit the kind of form this year that has made them the AFL’s dominant side over the past five seasons. So they are unlikely to massacre the Giants to the degree they did several visitors to Simonds Stadium last season, such as Melbourne by 186 points and Gold Coast by 150. Even so, no one will expect the young Giants to get close in their first visit to Geelong. More important will be whether the Cats can show they are regaining the sort of touch to suggest they remain a premiership threat.
Key: The Cats have struggled to exert their normal dominance in contested ball and clearances this season, two areas in which the Giants have performed reasonably well. Those statistics might give a better indicator of Geelong’s form than the scoreboard.
Tip: Cats by 70 points
Hawthorn v North Melbourne at Aurora Stadium 2.10pm
Head to Head: Hawks 89 North Melbourne 74 drawn 2
Last clash: Round 20 2011 – Hawks 15.13 (103) bt North Melbourne 13.8 (86) at Aurora Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Hawks $1.23 North Melbourne $4.20
Sportingbet: Hawks $1.27 North Melbourne $3.75
Both clubs have serious queries. The Hawks were handed a shock thrashing by Richmond last round and need a convincing win to reassert themselves as a likely top four side. The Kangaroos held on against Brisbane. But after giving up a string of late goals to lose to Port Adelaide the previous round, the fact that the Lions kicked the last four goals against them is a worry. The Roos have already played four of the bottom five sides, but have still conceded the fourth-highest average score (99 points) in the competition.
Key: If misfiring Hawks star Lance Franklin finds his range, he could give the Kangaroos defence enormous trouble.
Tip: Hawks by 30 points
Fremantle v Adelaide at Patersons Stadium 4.40pm
Head to Head: Dockers 11 Crows 16
Last clash: Round 3 2011 – Dockers 11.13 (79) bt Crows 7.12 (54) at AAMI Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Dockers $2.35 Crows $1.60
Sportingbet: Dockers $2.40 Crows $1.57
While the Crows have taken to new coach Brenton Sanderson’s style with obvious zeal, the Dockers’ meagre scores in recent weeks indicate they are having a much tougher time adapting to Ross Lyon’s defence-oriented methods. Midfield ball-winners of the quality of Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Thompson and Rory Sloane would make any coach’s job easier. Having star forward Taylor Walker back from suspension will also help the Crows’ cause.
Key: A big game from Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich, who hasn’t kicked a goal in the past two rounds, would help Fremantle considerably.
Tip: Crows by 20 points
Essendon v Melbourne at MCG 7.40pm
Head to Head: Bombers 126 Demons 79 drawn 2
Last clash: Round 11 2011 – Demons 15.11 (101) bt Bombers 10.8 (68) at MCG
Tab Sportsbet: Bombers $1.04 Demons $11.00
Sportingbet: Bombers $1.04 Demons $11.00
The winless Demons were at least competitive for three quarters against Carlton last round, but they were still well beaten and face a tougher task against the Bombers. After some scratchy early wins, the Bombers have been impressively consistent over the past six rounds and are unlikely to drop their guard. Essendon’s improved midfield depth has been a key, while Melbourne have relied heavily on hard-working midfielder Nathan Jones and Mitch Clark has been their only notable goal-kicker.
Key: The Demons better produce the spirit they showed against Carlton, not what they served up against Sydney a round earlier, or they could cop a huge hiding.
Tip: Bombers by 60 points
Port Adelaide v Carlton at AAMI Stadium 7.40pm
Head to Head: Power 12 Blues 9 drawn 1
Last clash: Round 11 2011 – Blues 16.15 (111) bt Power 7.7 (49) at AAMI Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Power $3.35 Blues $1.33
Sportingbet: Power $3.05 Blues $1.37
For the first time in 21 months, the Power are coming off successive wins. They will give themselves a chance of an upset against a Carlton side well below their best in recent weeks. The Blues eventually ran away from Melbourne last weekend, for their first win in three rounds, but made hard work of it for much of the game.
Key: Previously out-of-favour ruckman Robert Warnock and midfielder Brock McLean were pivotal to Carlton’s win over Melbourne and will be looking to cement their spots with a repeat performance.
Tip: Blues by 25 points
SUNDAY, June 3
Brisbane v West Coast at Gabba 1.10pm
Head to Head: Lions 11 Eagles 27 drawn 1
Last clash: Round 23 2011 – Eagles 13.11 (89) bt Lions 11.15 (81) at Gabba
Tab Sportsbet: Lions $4.60 Eagles $1.20
Sportingbet: Lions $4.50 Eagles $1.20
The Eagles have lost midfielder Luke Shuey to suspension, but Brisbane’s loss of injured midfield veteran Simon Black will be felt much more sorely. Coach Michael Voss felt the Lions made good strides in the second half against North Melbourne and youngsters Elliot Yeo and Dayne Zorko showed some promising signs for Brisbane. But the Lions’ only three wins this season have come against the bottom three sides, so upsetting the top-placed Eagles is too much to ask.
Key: The Eagles’ star ruck pairing of Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui pose a major threat for a Lions outfit finding Matthew Leuenberger’s absence difficult and now without youngster Billy Longer.
Tip: Eagles by 40 points
Sydney v Western Bulldogs at SCG 3.15pm
Head to Head: Swans 72 Bulldogs 77 drawn 1
Last clash: Round 18 2011 – Swans 16.18 (114) bt Bulldogs 11.9 (75) at SCG
Tab Sportsbet: Swans $1.23 Bulldogs $4.20
Sportingbet: Swans $1.25 Bulldogs $3.90
The absence of ruckman Shane Mumford and superstar Adam Goodes has hit the Swans hard as they have slumped to three losses in the past four rounds, after starting the year on a five-game winning streak. The Bulldogs have been very competitive under Brendan McCartney, with their only two losses in the past six rounds coming after pushing both Collingwood and Geelong hard. Their focus on winning the contested ball should suit the SCG, in what the form of both clubs suggests will be a tight, low-scoring battle.
Key: Mumford is in the Swans’ extended 25-man squad, and should he have recovered from injury, will be a huge inclusion.
Tip: Swans by 10 points
Collingwood v Gold Coast Suns at MCG 4.40pm
Head to Head: Magpies 1 Suns 0
Last clash: Round 18 2011 – Magpies 19.15 (129) bt Suns 11.9 (75) at Gold Coast Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Magpies N/A Suns $34.00
Sportingbet: Magpies $1.01 Suns $17.00
The Magpies are on a six-game winning streak. In a great sign, they have been challenged in most of those games but found a way to push ahead when it counts, something Geelong made a habit of last season. Their biggest concern is their high injury rate in defence, with Lachlan Keeffe’s season-ending knee injury last round adding to the list. But that should not be too big an issue against the Suns, who lack a key forward of note.
Key: The Suns have been competitive for a half numerous times this year, so even if this clash is close for a while, expect the Magpies to eventually kick well clear.
Tip: Magpies by 60 points© AAP 2013
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