It took two upsets last week for this unexpected match up to happen and for the first time since the infamous grand final of 2007 which Geelong won by 119 points, Geelong will meet Port Adelaide in a final. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.50pm AEST.
Geelong has dominated recent encounters against Port Adelaide, Geelong has not lost to Port since Round 21, 2007 – a streak that stands at nine consecutive victories.
However this one is expected to be a close contest even though Geelong will go in as red-hot favourites.
Port Adelaide will have to defy history if they are going to make it past the second week of finals in 2013.
The only team from the bottom half of the eight to progress past the second week of the finals in the last decade was Collingwood in 2007.
Geelong has also lost its last two finals (coincidently to Fremantle); the Cats haven’t lost three consecutive finals since the period between 1997 and 2004.
So while this game may look like Geelong will dominate, if Port Adelaide wins they will create some history.
Nathan Vardy vs Matthew Lobbe
The battle between the ruckman here will be crucial. Vardy will have to carry his sides ruck work in this game with Simpson injured and West out of form.
He will have his work cut out for him too with Lobbe having a day out the last time these two sides met as he gathered 17 possessions and won 59 hit-outs against the Cats in Round 20.
Angus Monfries vs Cameron Guthrie
Small forwards have a habit of hampering the Cats and Monfries delivered the goods the last time Port Adelaide played the Cats by kicking 7 goals although most of them were kicked on Jimmy Bartel.
Look for young Geelong defender Cameron Guthrie to get the job on him this time around.
This battle will be of most importance, with the likes of Joel Selwood and Steve Johnson facing off against Kane Cornes and Travis Boak.
As we saw in most games last week, dominating the clearances will be a key element in setting a team up for victory.
Another question that will be answered is whether or not Tom Hawkins is fit enough; the reigning best and fairest has been hindered by a back injury for most of the season.
It was so bad last week that he was unable to play in the qualifying final against Fremantle.
Geelong’s forward line doesn’t work quite as well without the big man and it showed last week when they only managed to kick nine goals in what turned out to be a brilliant defensive display from Fremantle.
While most will think Geelong will win this game, if Port Adelaide can stay within distance by three-quarter time they could be a chance to steal it (They are the best fourth-quarter team in the competition apart from the Hawks).
My tips have been a kiss of death for the team I pick this year – although I think this game will be close I think Geelong has too much class even though Port Adelaide is a team on the rise.
Geelong by ten.