The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 21

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    Hawthorn and Geelong will renew the rivalry that just keeps on giving on Saturday morning at the MCG, in a match that will shape the top eight.

    I suspect that regardless of the result in this one both sides will make it through to the final eight, but whether they scrape in or have a strong advantage could come down to who gets the four points here.

    The Cats impressed last week against Richmond but were narrowly denied, while Hawthorn were on the other side of the ledger against Essendon.

    My gut feel is that the Hawks will come into this one with a little more confidence and that will get them the win, but it absolutely could go either way.

    There’s another finals shaper on Sunday and I’d say more is at stake when Sydney host Melbourne as there’s a good chance the loser misses out on finals.

    The Dees have consistently shown an ability to beat up on bad teams, as they did against Gold Coast last week, but tend to fumble it agains the genuine contenders.

    Sydney on the other hand would be buoyed by a remarkable win last week at the SCG over Collingwood – I think they can make it two in a row and put Melbourne’s September dream back in doubt.

    With no Josh J Kennedy still this week and now Andrew Gaff joining Nic Naitnaui on the sidelines for the rest of the season, Port Adelaide will have no excuse if the fail to beat West Coast.

    Brisbane are a dangerous side and will push Collingwood hard – as they did at the Gabba earlier this year – but the lure of finals should inspire the Magpies to victory.

    It’ll be a similar case for the other Saturday night match. There’s just simply more at stake for the Giants than there is the Crows, plus they play Canberra so very well.

    Essendon, Richmond, North and Fremantle are my other tips for the week – lock of the week is the Tigers to finally notch their first, and last, win outside Victoria in 2018.

    Lock of the week from the Simpsons

    TomC
    Essendon, Geelong, Richmond, Port Adelaide, Collingwood, GWS, North Melbourne, Melbourne, Fremantle

    I’ll back the Cats to have a bit too much firepower for Hawthorn at the MCG.

    West Coast look a bit threadbare right now, and even if they go okay in South Australia as a rule, at home the Power should rebound from last week’s disappointment.

    On a freezing cold Canberra night – seriously, who thought it was a good idea to play a night game at Manuka in August? – GWS will deal with the conditions and the Crows to keep their faint top two chances alive.

    Melbourne should get the job done at home over Sydney, as much as both of these sides are tough to call.

    Elsewhere the Bombers to overwhelm the Saints, Richmond to get a rare win interstate against the Suns, Collingwood to outlast the plucky Lions, Freo at home over the Blues.

    Round 21 Josh E Adrian P Cam R TomC The Crowd
    ESS vs STK ESS ESS ESS ESS ESS
    HAW vs GEE HAW GEE GEE GEE GEE
    GCS vs RIC RIC RIC RIC RIC RIC
    PA vs WCE PA PA PA PA PA
    COL vs BRI COL COL COL COL COL
    GWS vs ADE GWS GWS GWS GWS GWS
    NM vs WB NM NM NM NM NM
    MEL vs SYD SYD MEL MEL MEL MEL
    FRE vs CAR FRE FRE FRE FRE FRE
    Last week 8 6 5 6 7
    Total 111 111 114 119 121

    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 (65)

    • Roar Guru

      August 9th 2018 @ 12:33pm
      Peter the Scribe said | August 9th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      Pies won’t want to give the Lions a sniff. Melbourne to stamp their claims with a big win over Sydney, Port should feast on a WCE side who’s week has been hijacked and are now missing some real quality. Bombers, Tigers, Roos and Dockers won’t be troubled. GWS maye be tested against the Crows and the Cats will put fear into the Tigers finals campaign with a 19 point win over the Hawks.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 9th 2018 @ 12:56pm
      Jed Lanyon said | August 9th 2018 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

      I think Sydney beat up on the Dees. Port to be back in top 4 contention after the Crows stole one last week

    • Roar Pro

      August 9th 2018 @ 1:29pm
      anon said | August 9th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

      The only tough pick is the Hawks-Cats game.

      You have to go with the Hawks.

      They sliced and diced the “form team” of the competition last week and would have won by 4-5 goals without finger tipped goals being denied and a couple of advantage free kicks being wrongly applied. Don’t forget that Hawthorn gave up 3 quick goals to start the match.

      Most people were picking Essendon last week based on their speed and catching the Hawks on the counter. People thought Essendon would exploit the Hawks in that area, in which they did to a degree but not nearly enough to win the game.

      Geelong are much slower, more lumbering, was able to keep it close last week by playing aggressively through the corridor. It caught Richmond out. Richmond will now adjust and it won’t be so “successful” next time.

      Hawthorn play the space of the MCG so well. Geelong not so well.

      I think Hawks slice and dice Geelong methodically as they did to Essendon.

      • Roar Guru

        August 9th 2018 @ 1:54pm
        JamesH said | August 9th 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

        So Hawthorn would have won easily if their shots for goal hadn’t been touched by Bombers players? I reckon Essendon would have won easily if Stratton had dropped all of his marks, but that didn’t happen either.

        • Roar Pro

          August 9th 2018 @ 3:30pm
          anon said | August 9th 2018 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

          I thought the game was controlled by Hawthorn. It was on there terms for most of the day. Everyone had Essendon penciled in for a win.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 3:56pm
          Don Freo said | August 9th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          Yep. Anon is the easiest person to argue with on The Roar.

          • Roar Pro

            August 11th 2018 @ 4:41pm
            anon said | August 11th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

            What were you saying, champ?

            • August 11th 2018 @ 7:23pm
              Don Freo said | August 11th 2018 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

              We were talking about last week and your “if they didn’t win, they would have lost’ silliness. We were right…you got that one wrong. Most of us tipped Hawthorn for this week but that was not the conversation.

              You are so easy to dismiss because you forget the conversations

              • Roar Pro

                August 12th 2018 @ 1:17pm
                anon said | August 12th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                I tipped them last week as well champ.

                I tipped your team to struggle back in the 2016 preseason.

                How right I was.

              • August 12th 2018 @ 2:48pm
                Don Freo said | August 12th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                You’re wrong.

                Freo has played all season without 10 first picked players for most of that season yet, despite that circumstance, have improved on last year. Everything about Freo is positive. The youth, the key positions returning from long term injury, the young and the experienced rucks learning/mentoring. The midfield generators such as Fyfe, Blakely and the Hills to return and work together and 10 players under 20 games to grow into that set up.

                That is no struggle. You will only have Jonboy and 13th Man agree with you. What company to identify with!

                A struggle is what the teams below them are doing…or a team like Adelaide that played a GF last year and miss the 8 this year. Now, THAT’S a struggle.

                It seems, from your tone, that finding some joy in football is a struggle for you.

              • Roar Pro

                August 13th 2018 @ 1:13am
                anon said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:13am | ! Report

                They haven’t improved.

                They have the same wins as last season despite buying one of their home games.

                They’ve had a far more favourable draw playing mainly weak opposition at home.

              • August 13th 2018 @ 8:30am
                Don Freo said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

                You are not looking and certainly not thinking. They played all the top eight sides in the first 8 games (bar one), still have already equalled last year with 2 top 8 sides to come.

                Easier draw? You just say stuff out of desperation. I did suggest you wouldn’t come back with anything until after we knew the result. That was the best you could do?

                Try addressing some of the challenges we threw you? Your contradictions? Your predictions? Your sadness?

                Freo had yet another win. Isn’t that going to cheer you up or do you stay miserable either way?

      • Roar Guru

        August 9th 2018 @ 2:10pm
        Peter the Scribe said | August 9th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

        Yeah people said Essendon were the form side when the Pies beat them too. They are up and down. Geelongs form against Richmond stacks up way better…

        • Roar Pro

          August 9th 2018 @ 3:39pm
          anon said | August 9th 2018 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

          Essendon weren’t down last week. They played at a high level. Hawthorn were better.

          Geelong’s near-win last week was more about a tactical surprise more than anything. Plus, Richmond are going to have an “off” day sooner or later at the MCG.

          Geelong’s a funny team. Should have lost to Melbourne at Kardinia Park, lost to the Crows, beat Sydney (would have won by 10 goals if they kicked straight), lost to Western, two losses to Richmond in there, win over Brisbane.

    • Roar Guru

      August 9th 2018 @ 1:56pm
      gameofmarks said | August 9th 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

      Ah Chee to get a gig against his old side and will put in a blinder…..
      He needs to show something if he wants and extension to his contract on better money….
      Sheed to also get a call up and back in the middle will also get his hands on the ball…..
      WCE will get the chocolates and lock in a top 2 spot…..
      Their odds for the flag will shorten after showing they can beat a top 8 side away from home with 3 of their stars missing……

      • August 9th 2018 @ 5:03pm
        Lroy said | August 9th 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

        Only thing Ive seen from Ah Chee is Port did the right thing by trading him. Time is running out for him, personally Id like to see Sheed and Petrocelle back in the side, the former uses the ball well, the later has that elite speed that could really cause sides problems.

        Going to be very tough this week given who they wont have… play the Guv up forward, bring in another defender, (the 19 year old who debuted a few weeks ago??) and the Eagles might go ok. I dont think its the forgone conclusion that everyone is making it out to be.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 5:19pm
          Don Freo said | August 9th 2018 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

          WC has covered the absences of 3 or 4 good players all season. There’s no reason why they wouldn’t do it again.

          I think they are quite a bit better than Port. This week should emphasise that.

          • Roar Guru

            August 9th 2018 @ 6:17pm
            Peter the Scribe said | August 9th 2018 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

            WCE lost three games in a row to Sydney, Essendon and Adelaide Don with the key players out then scraped in against the Giants, got their players back and beat the Pies easy? If anything, having those players missing clearly cost them those three games.

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 5:42pm
          gameofmarks said | August 9th 2018 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

          McGovern is a waste up forward
          Plus he can’t play as a KPF…..
          Ah Chee has got the skills…
          He has just been playing out of position each game he has been picked…

    • August 9th 2018 @ 2:49pm
      Baz said | August 9th 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

      Agree with gameofmarks for the WCE / PORT game.
      WCE know how to win at Adelaide oval and should go close again…
      Port is expected to win the game & that extra pressure may be too much (for them) to bear?
      I’d like to see how Lycett handles himself against Ryder as well..

      • Roar Rookie

        August 9th 2018 @ 3:30pm
        Mattician6x6 said | August 9th 2018 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

        Agree absolutely, wce will continue our
        Excellent record @ Adelaide oval.
        Been a big week for the club but I’m expecting after the showdown port are vunerable.

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 6:18pm
          Peter the Scribe said | August 9th 2018 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

          Adelaide beat you there round 15 didn’t they 6 x 6?

          • Roar Rookie

            August 9th 2018 @ 7:28pm
            Mattician6x6 said | August 9th 2018 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

            Yes Peter they did, Adelaide came back from a 3qt time defecit to win but since then wce gains have outweighed the players lost, I understand that you aren’t abreast of wce but research would help you alot.

            • Roar Guru

              August 10th 2018 @ 8:02am
              Peter the Scribe said | August 10th 2018 @ 8:02am | ! Report

              Wow 6 x 6, a bit touchy. Was just asking the question as it was valid being so recent a loss with you remarking on your excellent Adelaide record.

              • August 10th 2018 @ 11:31am
                Don Freo said | August 10th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

                Matti has been struggling a bit.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 7:11pm
          Hiru said | August 9th 2018 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

          Matti
          I believe Eagles are more vulnerable than Port due to missing stars and pressure to hold on to 2nd spot. Anything below 2nd …..Eagles will have tough luck come finals.

          Port has something to prove and they’ll win this by 3-4 goals.

          I reckon the following 2 games would be more crucial for 2nd spot
          Round 22 WC Vs Melbourne
          Round 23 Melbourne vs GWS

          • August 9th 2018 @ 8:02pm
            Don Freo said | August 9th 2018 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

            Hiru, you say WC will feel ‘pressure’ to hold on to 2nd and, so, will crumble.

            Then you suggest Port is under pressure to prove something. Why won’t the pressure be too much for them too?

            By your logic, they both lose.

            • August 9th 2018 @ 8:24pm
              Hiru said | August 9th 2018 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

              Both teams are under presure but Eagles without 3 key players

    • August 9th 2018 @ 2:57pm
      Avi said | August 9th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

      Carlton to win

      • Roar Guru

        August 9th 2018 @ 6:19pm
        Peter the Scribe said | August 9th 2018 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

        Sure AVI and Ross Lyon and Bolton to swap clubs as well after the game.

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