The Roar
The Roar

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

Tom Mitchell of the Hawks. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Editor
8th August, 2018
65

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.

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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.

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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