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The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 13

Josh Caddy of the Tigers celebrates after scoring a goal. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)
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13th June, 2018
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Two top-four sides go head to head when West Coast travel east to face Sydney at the SCG – and it’s a pairing of teams that has brought us plenty of pleasure over the years.

You could make a good argument for Sydney to win. They have the home ground advantage, and there’s no telling how West Coast will adjust to the loss of Jack Darling.

That said, the SCG hasn’t necessarily been the fortress we might think of it as for the Swans this year – they’ve only lost three games this year, but all three came at this ground.

The Eagles will miss Darling but after spending far too much time doubting them I’m going to back them in to win on the road in challenging circumstances.

We’re lucky enough to also have a second all-top-four match this week between Richmond and Geelong.

The Tigers undoubtedly deserve to be in the league’s top handful of teams, but we’re still a bit unsure over the Cats.

Ghey can largely thank Collingwood for lowering Melbourne’s percentage last week to put them in – they’re in fourth by a margin of 0.7 per cent.

Gary Ablett has played two really strong games in the last two weeks and it’s no surprise as a result that the Cats look a better side than they have all year.

Can that carry over enough to become the first team to beat the reigning premiers at the MCG? It could, but probably won’t, so I’m tipping the Tigers.

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Nat Fyfe’s return should be enough to put Fremantle over the top of Carlton even if it is on the road, while I expect all of Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Hawthorn to win fairly comfortably.

In fact given the state of the Crows’ injury list, I’m going to be bold and back in the Hawks as my lock of the week on Saturday night.

Lock of the week from the Simpsons

Adrian Polykandrites
Port Adelaide, West Coast, Carlton, St Kilda, Hawthorn, Richmond

The Power are coming off a win against the premiership favourites. The Dogs stink and scored 26 points last time they were at Adelaide Oval. This one will likely get ugly.

The Dockers aren’t the same team away from Perth, so I’m tipping the Blues to score their second win of the season in a scrappy but entertaining affair.

Speaking of scrappy but entertaining, the two clubs under the most pressure face off on the Gold Coast.

A loss for the Saints against the Suns could quickly bring about the end of Alan Richardson’s time in charge. I think they’ll stave off that talk, for a while at least, with a win.

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Adelaide are too wounded and this game means too much for Hawthorn. The Hawks should win comfortably at the MCG.

Sunday’s game is fascinating. The Cats really, really need a scalp at the MCG if they’re to be taken seriously, and there’s no greater MCG scalp than the Tigers, who have won 15 straight at The G. It’ll be 16 straight by Sunday afternoon.

Cameron Rose
Port Adelaide, Sydney, Carlton, St Kilda, Hawthorn, Richmond

Port, confidence high, should easily take care of the Dogs.

West Coast are coming off a bye, which could mean they’re not at their sharpest, are due for a loss, and have to travel across the country. It all points to a Sydney win, the Swans can hit the bye with a full head of steam and their sixth win in a row.

Carlton can claim their second win of the season against a travelling Freo. Gold Coast are plain awful, and St Kilda can win the death match at Metricon.

On Saturday night at the MCG, Hawthorn should be too solid for an Adelaide that appears to be spiralling out of the finals race.

Sunday sees the match of the round, between a Richmond that is struggling to peak consistently through the middle rounds, and a Geelong that has hit a rich vein of form.

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Can the Tigers keep their MCG winning streak going, and break down the Cats defence? The likelihood of a wet day possibly tips it the way of the reigning premiers.

TomC
Port Adelaide, Sydney, Carlton, St Kilda, Hawthorn, Richmond

Port easily over the Doggies.

The Eagles are in rich form and have had some mighty victories in their rivalry with the Swans, away from home.

Sydney have been beating up on weak teams in the last few rounds and it’s difficult to truly get a read on their form, but my suspicion is they can grind out a defensive win on the small SCG against opponents who have come to enjoy the wide spaces of their new home ground.

Carlton at home to Fremantle is the battle of the walking wounded, with both sides weakened by injury and neither all that crash hot to begin with.

The Blues have mostly been unconvincing this year, of course, but in what might just be a battle of attrition I think it’s an advantage to come off the bye. Carlton just.

St Kilda have their problems, but the Suns look completely shot. The Saints to break their losing run.

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Hawthorn would have enjoyed their break and will outlast the struggling Crows in Melbourne.

The Cats have hit a purple patch and could give Richmond a real shake, but the Tigers’ form at home has been good enough for long at the MCG to back them again here.

Round 13 Josh E Adrian P Cam R TomC The Crowd
PA vs WB PA PA PA PA PA
SYD vs WCE WCE WCE SYD SYD SYD
CAR vs FRE FRE CAR CAR CAR FRE
GCS vs STK STK STK STK STK STK
HAW vs ADE HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW
GEE vs RIC RIC RIC RIC RIC RIC
Last week 6 5 5 6 5
Total 66 70 66 75 76