Can the Crows topple the mighty Hawks?

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    Hawthorn will face Adelaide in a preliminary final at the MCG this weekend, but will it be a one-sided affair?

    This weekend’s Hawthorn and Adelaide game should be an easy bet. On paper and recent form Hawthorn should account for Adelaide with ease and progress to the grand final where they will face either Sydney or Collingwood.

    Hawthorn has had a relatively easy finals campaign as of now, beating Collingwood in their week one qualifying final before getting a week off.

    After the week’s break they should come out fresh and firing. Adelaide on the other hand have had a tough couple of weeks.

    After losing convincingly to Sydney away from home in the first week, they faced Pavlich and his Fremantle Dockers.

    A hard fought come-from-behind 10 point win against Fremantle has now lined them up with an unforgiving Hawthorn outfit.

    The key for Adelaide to have any chance of winning this game is to shut down Lance Franklin and match Hawthorn’s midfield.

    If they can restrict Franklin to fewer than two or three goals Adelaide could possibly have a chance.

    But as we have seen all of this season, Hawthorn have numerous avenues to goal.

    If Franklin doesn’t fire, someone else will – that’s why Hawthorn finished on top this season.

    You can’t just shut down their key forwards because Cyril Rioli will find a way through, Luke Hodge will grab a couple of sneaky goals and Jarryd Roughead is also devastating at his best.

    As for the midfield, Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell, Hodge and Jordan Lewis can tear apart any side.

    They will be up against quality opposition though, especially in the All-Australian pair Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield. Thompson has had a stellar year, as has Dangerfield and both are game changers.

    Adelaide, you would think, will lose the midfield battle against Hawthorn but would be very confident with their attacking options.

    After Taylor Walker’s game changing performance against Fremantle and a handy three goals to come-back-king Jason Porplyzia, Adelaide aren’t short of attacking options. Kurt Tippett needs to fire if Adelaide are any chance of winning. Dangerfield can also be very damaging on the score board.

    This match is expected to be a one-sided affair but Adelaide could give Hawthorn a run for their money. They must shut down Franklin and Tippet needs to rip Hawthorn’s defence apart.

    My prediction: Hawthorn’s midfield and array of attacking options will be too much for Adelaide to handle, Hawthorn by 24 points.

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • September 21st 2012 @ 6:55am
      damo said | September 21st 2012 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      Adelaide lost to Sydney at home, not away

    • September 21st 2012 @ 10:03am
      Brian said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

      When they met in Round 3 at the MCG the Hawks blew them away however Adelaide had chances early on and kicked inaccurately – Tippet in particular missed some very gettable shots. I know both teams have moved on but to me that principle remains the same Adelaide can win but Walker & Tippet need to kick straight.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 11:22am
      BigAl said | September 21st 2012 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      Would have to be the biggest upset in history if they did !

    • Roar Guru

      September 21st 2012 @ 11:54am
      TomC said | September 21st 2012 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      Been trying to think of a parallel for this match, where an unrated team has slogged through the finals, travels away to a raging premiership favourite, and knocks them off in a fairytale preliminary final.

      Can’t think of one. I guess the closest is the Crows themselves back in 98 and, to a lesser extent, in 97, when no one gave them a chance of knocking off the Western Bulldogs, who were seen as the most likely challengers to the Roos in 98.

      The truth is that preliminary finals don’t throw up a lot of upsets. I stand to be corrected, but the last really significant upset I remember was the Blues over Essendon back in 99.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 12:29pm
      checkside said | September 21st 2012 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

      Hawthorn have easily been the best side throughout the season. There has never been a more favoured team for a preliminary final. Franklin is tipped to kick a bag of goals with others to get their fair share. They also have the finals experience and had a week off to freshen up. It’s been played at the MCG. Adelaide will be happy to make it 3rd on the ladder for the record books and everyone in Victoria rants on about the easy draw that AFL house gave them. However Hawthorn has all the pressure. Losing would be total disaster. Footy is a funny game and with a sniff and scoreboard pressure you never know. My tip – Adelaide.

    • September 21st 2012 @ 1:19pm
      Mango Jack said | September 21st 2012 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

      Hawthorn’s biggest threats will be complacency and thinking about next weekend. It’s impossible to see Adelaide outscoring them if the Hawks play anywhere near their best. Their attack is like the mythical hydra. Cut off 1 head (Buddy) and others will rear up in its place (Rioli, Roughead, Gunston)

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