The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    A season where every team has had a shocker or two, even the very best of them, makes the preliminary finals hard to predict with confidence.

    On balance, Adelaide and Richmond should win through and play in the grand final, and that would be a great result because it’s been almost two decades since either won a flag.

    However both Geelong and GWS put in strong performances last week and that makes it hard to ignore their chances.

    Personally, I’m tipping the favourites in both matches.

    Home ground advantage is a big deal for the Crows in their match against the Cats, and I’m also a bit sceptical that Geelong can maintain the intensity they showed last week.

    While GWS certainly appeared to be in good form last week, it was a largely uncompetitive match. If Richmond bring the same suffocating pressure this week that they did in the qualifying final, the Giants won’t be able to deal with it.

    Patrick Dangerfield Rory Sloane Geelong Cats Adelaide Crows AFL 2017

    (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Cameron Rose
    Adelaide, Richmond

    What to make of Adelaide versus Geelong? The Crows beat the Cats by a comfortable 21 points at Adelaide Oval last time out, after being seven goals up late in the third term.

    But, seven of their 13 goals that night were between Richard Douglas (four) and Rory Sloane (three), career highs for each.

    Geelong actually kept the more dangerous and likely forward targets of Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Mitch McGovern and Tom T Lynch to three goals between them.

    On the other hand, Harry Taylor kicked five goals that night, which is unlikely to happen again, and all of them were when the game was over anyway.

    Prior to their Adelaide Oval meeting in Round 18, Geelong had won five in a row against the Crows, by an average of five goals.

    But, four of these wins were at Simonds Stadium, which helps skew the figures given we know how important home ground advantage is to each team here.

    I’m happy to go with the belief that Adelaide’s best football is better than Geelong’s, and they are more chance to produce it this Friday than the Cats are.

    Richmond are coming off their best win in decades, when they didn’t allow Geelong any time and space in the first week of finals. We saw what the Cats did to Sydney last week, when they were allowed those things.

    GWS had the soft finals win against West Coast, so both teams will hit this game fresh. It’s doubtful any team could handle the pressure the Tigers brought in that first final, and if they can repeat the dose that should ensure victory.

    But they will need to hit the scoreboard better than they did against Geelong, particularly so to engage the Tiger army and keep the heat turned up on the Giants. I think they can.

    Preliminary finals Josh Elliott Maddy Friend Tim Lane Cam Rose The Crowd
    ADE vs GEE ADE ADE ADE ADE ADE
    RIC vs GWS RIC RIC GWS RIC RIC
    Last week 1 1 1 1 1
    Total 118 121 125 130 126

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • Roar Guru

      September 21st 2017 @ 11:37am
      AdelaideDocker said | September 21st 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

      Wow, I don’t think we could’ve asked for better preliminary finals in my opinion. Makes them bloody hard to tip, though.

      I’m going Adelaide by 8, after they lead by a fair bit at half time yet escape a resurgent second half Geelong fightback.

      I’ll also go Richmond by 19. Can’t see GWS winning this one, but I’m probably wrong now that I’ve said that.

      Adelaide v Richmond grand final. Niccceee. That’ll be awesome to watch.

      • September 21st 2017 @ 12:02pm
        Liam said | September 21st 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        I can’t see either of these matches being that close, to be honest.

        Richmond will suffocate GWS at home, and Geelong will need their midfield brigade to play the match of their lives to beat Adelaide at home.

        If either result is under 20 points, I’ll be surprised; the only way it happens is if GWS play a quarter or so of perfect footy, and pulverise Richmond early, with the tigers spending the rest of the game chipping at the lead.

        • September 21st 2017 @ 1:24pm
          The Ghost said | September 21st 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          If the margin in the Richmond v GWS game is under 80 points, I will be surprised. No amount of training with loud music on, will acclimatize the miniatures to the deafening roar of the 90k Tiger Army. All of Victoria will behind their team, as the night before the Cats will get knocked over.

          • September 21st 2017 @ 10:11pm
            Connor said | September 21st 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

            nope….. can’t say all of Victoria will be supporting the Tigers. I certainly aren’t. im sure theres plenty of supporters of rival teams who dont want Richmond in the GF

    • September 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm
      tibor nagy (big four sticks) said | September 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      The Spread Eagle will be rocking on Saturday night as Greg Denham is putting on two barrels to celebrate Richmond’s first grand final appearance since 1982. We will thump the living daylight out of this boutique team. The roar will be so deafening that his Lordship will hear it from the ski lodge, despite his noise canceling ear plugs. Sit up and take notice AFL, because the Tigers have arrived. The winner out of Adelaide and Geelong are on a hiding to nothing as they will have to face the mighty Tigers. It’s Tiger time folks! Yellow and Black!

    • Roar Rookie

      September 21st 2017 @ 3:58pm
      hairy fat man said | September 21st 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

      All week I’ve thought Crows-Tigers, but after Kevin Bartlett’s intercession, I’m thinking Crows-Giants.

    • September 21st 2017 @ 4:15pm
      Gaz said | September 21st 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

      The 4 teams in the Prelims. are a bit unusual. When you first look at them there are no obvious ‘hard men’. [Dimma is confined to the coach’s box, as is Scott.] But ‘roles’ will be assigned, for sure. The best teams seem to look out for each other all over and the result comes from the group that is really switched on and tight. The Tigers are shooting themselves in the foot and forgetting that players win the match. Adelaide look tight.

    • September 21st 2017 @ 7:56pm
      Zed16 said | September 21st 2017 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

      the one sure thing if Richmond lose, Hardwick will blame the umpires.

      At least it will demonstrate consistency.

    • September 21st 2017 @ 8:53pm
      StrummerJones said | September 21st 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

      Adelaide, but only just

      Yesterday I was predicting GWS, but forecast is thunderstorms and Giants are crap in the wet. Richmond it is.

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