Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs: Friday Night Forecast

Adrian Polykandrites Columnist

By Adrian Polykandrites, Adrian Polykandrites is a Roar Expert

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    OK, this is getting a little bit silly now for Adelaide.

    The last time we saw the Crows on a Friday night, they managed to knock off the Swans at the SCG despite the absence of both Crouch brothers, Rory Sloane, Eddie Betts and David Mackay.

    This time around, they’ll be without skipper Taylor Walker, Sloane, Mitch McGovern, both Crouches, Luke Brown, Riley Knight … you get the point.

    As we saw with the Giants at Kardinia Park a couple of weeks ago, there always comes a tipping point for even the most talented teams.

    What only a week ago looked like a chance for the Crows to boost their percentage, suddenly looms as a danger game.

    Thankfully for Adelaide, they’re not travelling to take on the Swans this time around. In the comfortable surrounds of Adelaide Oval they’ll host the Bulldogs, who in their previous two interstate trips this season have gone down by 82 points to GWS and 54 points to Fremantle.

    The Dogs are coming off three straight unconvincing wins against cellar dwellers – Carlton, Gold Coast and Brisbane – but the club that has fielded the youngest 22 in every round gets a nice boost of experience tonight.

    Teenaged key defenders Aaron Naughton and Lewis Young have been replaced by captain Easton Wood and veteran recruit Jackson Trengove.

    Suddenly a defensive group that was packed with kids a fortnight ago looks more sturdy with Wood, Trengove, 150-gamer Matthew Suckling and Hayden Crozier alongside pups Zaine Cordy, Bailey Williams and Ed Richards. Jordan Roughead also comes into the side, adding another experienced body around the ball.

    And it’s around the ball where the Bulldogs’ should have the advantage. The Dogs are No.1 in the competition for clearance differential at +43 on the year. The Crows are ranked 16th at minus-24 through eight games. Jack Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli, Toby McLean, Lachie Hunter, Luke Dahlhaus and Mitch Wallis can mix it with most sides,

    Adelaide will want big games from Hugh Greenwood and Cam Ellis-Yolmen, who both stepped up as required in Round 5 against the Swans – Greenwood had six clearances and 11 tackles, Ellis-Yolmen five and eight. Those two, along with Bryce Gibbs and Richie Douglas will be crucial to the stoppage battle.

    Richard Douglas AFL Adelaide Crows 2017

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    Former Kangaroo Sam Gibson could also be important in his first game for the Crows. He might even get the tough (impossible?) job on Bulldogs ball magnet Macrae.

    Not that winning clearances is the be all and end all – the Tigers are ranked 15th at minus-22 – but if the Dogs are to cause an upset, it’ll be important for them to get their hands on the footy first, get it into their half and pile on the pressure.

    The former Footscray have been pretty good at scoring from forward-half takeaways this season, getting almost five goals a game from intercept chains starting in their attacking half (ranked seventh).

    The Crows, though, are a different beast in that regard, getting 38.9 points a game from forward-half takeaways (ranked second). Just what those numbers mean with so many important players out is tough to say.

    Tom Lynch, Betts – in his 100th game for Adelaide – and Josh Jenkins still give the Crows enough firepower to kick a winning score. In the defensive third they have rock-solid Daniel Talia and the league’s leading ball-winner Rory Laird controlling things. Paul Seedsman is in All-Australian form on the wing.

    Even short-handed, Adelaide have a good chunk of top-end, mature talent. But more than Don Pyke is used to they’ll be counting on inexperienced players. The Crows will have eight players with fewer than 50 games experience in their line-up tonight (the Dogs have nine).

    Fifth-gamer Jordan Gallucci’s last-minute brain fade in last week’s Showdown probably cost the Crows the game. Young players do dumb things, especially when they’re tired or things aren’t going their way. The more young players you have, the more chances there are for bad things to happen. Adelaide are a whole lot more unpredictable than we’re used to.

    If the Crows can a win tonight they’ll improve to 6-3, drop it and they’re 5-4 with a tricky month ahead given their injuries. This is an important match for the home side to win – no matter how ugly.

    For the Dogs, a victory would give them the same record as Adelaide and perhaps even restore any September hopes that might have faded since the season started.

    I’m not seeing it. Adelaide by five goals.

    That’s my Friday night forecast. What’s yours?

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:32am
      I ate pies said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      I think this one will be closer. With half of Adelaides team out, and the Dogs getting back some senior players, they match up pretty evenly, with the Dogs having the advantage in the midfield and the Crows having an advantage in their backline.
      Add in the 3 goal hometown advantage to the Crows I expect them to get up by about this amount.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 7:58am
      DingoGray said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Crows should get the job done in Adelaide……

      But as IAP mentions above, a couple of key injuries for the Crows, a couple of more experienced players returning
      for the Doggies, I could see an upset here.

      Just can’t convince myself to pull the trigger on the Footy tips or have a little dash on the punt…..Maybe the full body of work so far this season is weighing to heavy

      • May 18th 2018 @ 8:45am
        Birdman said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        save your money I reckon.

        Crows

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2018 @ 10:16am
          Mattician6x6 said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          O’Meara out birdman makes it interesting.

          • May 18th 2018 @ 1:54pm
            Birdman said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            Yes, expecting Cousins or Worpel to come in as the replacement mid but Burgoyne will go thru there a fair bit as well.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 18th 2018 @ 3:13pm
              Mattician6x6 said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

              Worpel is a dead ringer for chick, if he ends as good a player you’ll be happy

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:26pm
                Birdman said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                Daniel Chick could certainly play – we never saw the absolute best of him at Hawthorn but he was one of our best during our dark years before he headed to the Eagles.

                Pretty sure Worps will be a real talent.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 8:09am
      Tim said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      Good to criticise Gallucci. What about his 4th quarter effort against Sydney, where he was key in the win. As you say ups and downs for a 5th gamer. He isn’t going anywhere.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 8:33am
      truetigerfan said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      I’m not seeing it either, Adrian. Crows easily. Expect more crowing about injuries. I’m over it.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 11:14am
        Mattyb said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        TTF,you seem to comment on an awful lot of things you claim to be over.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 11:50am
          truetigerfan said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          Are you saying I have no right to? You also claim to skip straight past my comments. Pot . . . kettle? Hey Matthew, wasn’t Carlton’s win last week just fantastic?! Your silence was deafening.

          • May 18th 2018 @ 1:36pm
            Mattyb said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            My names James lol.
            I said Carltons win was great,you must have missed it,I was wrapped.
            Because I don’t patronise,pity or make delusional comments about clubs doesn’t mean I don’t want them to improve,same as I’d love to see both our clubs win legitimate premierships now that we’ve broken long droughts.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 9:56am
      Cat said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      Over the last few years Adelaide has been able to play near injury free – I guess the law of averages is catching up to them all at once. The previous few years has seen Adelaide field almost the same team week in and week out (2015 – 32 players used, 2016 – 29 players used, 2017 – 31 players used [league average is up around 37-38 depending on year]). While that is good for stability in those years it may come back to bite them now with those players now being called upon having gotten little to no taste of AFL football before.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 11:17am
        GJ said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

        Thats not entirely correct. The club had injuries, however they were fortunate that many weren’t to best 22 players.

        Off of the top of my head I think they go into tonights game with 6 of the best 9 from last years B&F missing. And as many as 11 from the best 22 last year.

        This isn’t bad luck, someone has made a monumental error in the fitness, strength and conditioning department.

        That it coincides with the appointment of Burton and Hass is hard to ignore.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2018 @ 10:15am
      Mattician6x6 said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Crows will win, been on a bad streak with Friday night tipping but tonight is were I build form ready for an assault on the next 2/3 of the season.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 11:04am
        Rick Disnick said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        You need to start tipping the 50-50 games opposite to what the leaders are tipping.

        No obvious ones this round though.

        I, of course, plan on bolting away in the next 5 rounds, so you’re really just tipping for second place.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2018 @ 11:13am
          Mattician6x6 said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Good advice, like living dangerously to often for a possible juicy return, time to reign it in and wait till around round 19 for the inevitable lower placed side pulling a unexpected win I think.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 2:02pm
          Cat said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

          Since you ‘are never wrong’ shouldn’t you be getting every single tip correct, every single week?

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 2:15pm
            Rick Disnick said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            I was politely asked to not win The Roar tipping competition by too much.

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