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2014 AFL Grand Final: Expert tips, predictions

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25th September, 2014
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The 2014 AFL Grand Final is set to take place between the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. The Roar‘s expert panel have scratched their heads one final time and shared their tips and predictions for the big game.

In 2012 it was Sydney that entered as the underdog against Hawthorn, but come 2014 and the tables have turned, as the high-flying Swans become the competition’s team to beat.

Last week Geoff took a punt on the Power. The stakes were high. If they had completed their epic comeback, the 2014 AFL finals tipping crown would have been claimed.

Instead, we have a three way tie entering the final match between Glenn, Geoff and Sean – a tie that will only be broken by margin predictions.

Can the Swans beat the Hawks on the final day in September twice in three seasons? Or is it the Hawks turn to cause an upset?

Here’s what our experts have to say:

Sydney Swans vs Hawthorn Hawks
Time: 2:40pm (AEST)
Venue: MCG
TV: Seven Network
Betting: Sydney $1.60, Hawthorn $2.40

Cam says: Sydney by 25. I believe Sydney has a slight edge in defence and up forward, and a midfield that bats a bit deeper, so I have to have them on top. That said, if this match was played five times, I’d only expect the Swans to win three of them, so it’s still very much anyone’s game. I expect Sydney to create more chances in front of goal, but accuracy may well prove decisive – if they can’t deliver it, then the Hawks can win. It’s a given that both sides will be hard, tough and contested, so composure under pressure in the back fifty and what players do with the ball when 60-80m out from their own goal will have more of a say than any in-and-under work. First goal – Adam Goodes. Norm Smith – Ben McGlynn.

Geoff says: Sydney by 42 points. There’s no room for underdog tipping here. After all the trial and the struggle and the excitement, Sydney just have too much power in too many departments. The Swans have looked completely in control since the early rounds of this season, and while Hawthorn remain a thoroughly impressive team, they’ve had the harder road to the decider and they can’t quite match up. Chances are Hawthorn played their grand final last week, and the Swans will take this one relatively comfortably, to the background percussion of Eddie McGuire’s grinding teeth.

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Sean says: Sydney to defeat Hawthorn by 23 points. Sydney has a more settled line up, a more miserly defence and an attack that can get the job done. The game will be tight for most of the day but the Swans will begin to get on top towards the end of the third quarter. Buddy Franklin to win the Norm Smith medal.

Glenn says: Sydney to beat Hawthorn by 11 points. Sydney flexed its considerable muscle last Friday with a record score for the club in finals footy. It is hard to see Hawthorn being able to shut down the triumvirate of Franklin, Tippett and Goodes. Buddy should get around six opportunities in front of goal. If his rangefinder is calibrated he could be the game breaker. And as an added top, Luke Parker for the Norm Smith.

Expert tipping leaderboard after week 3:

Week 1 Semi-finals Prelim-finals Grand Final Total
Glenn 2 0 2 4
Sean 2 0 2 4
Geoff 2 1 1 4
Cam 1 0 2 3