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Round 20

Meanwhile Back at the AFL:  Well the Dane Swan incident has been grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons for Collingwood supporters. But team rules must be adhered to for the sake of discipline and it’s refreshing to see that the individual is not bigger than the team. Of course the sacking of Primus earlier in the week also was news of interest….I think! Almost every match played by teams inside and just outside the 8 in these last few rounds holds supporters’ interest too. The final 8 is far from set in concrete and there still remains the position of teams in the top 8 as well.

West Coast Eagles V Geelong at Paterson Stadium Friday night

The home final is slipping from West Coast’s grasp as the top 4 position they need is starting to become a distant dream. The Eagles maybe starting to feel the loss of quality players due to injury or suspension at times but somehow they need to get the better of the Cats at Subiaco, something they have been able to do consistently. This is no ordinary Geelong.  Is this an ordinary West Coast? Experts are saying the Eagles are doomed. Let’s see.

West Coast by 11

St Kilda V Melbourne at the MCG Saturday

The faintest glimmer of hope for making the finals can be retained if the Saints can beat Melbourne. A few other results need to go their way over the next few rounds for them to make it but finals still remain a mathematical possibility. Melbourne was expected to win last week (by some) and they won comfortably. Beating the Saints is altogether another level for the struggling Dees.

St Kilda by 32

Adelaide V Fremantle at AAMI Saturday

The Dockers will need to play as well as they did last week against the Eagles to have any chance of winning this game. Level on wins with 7th placed North and 8th placed Essendon AND those two teams playing each other this weekend a win over the Crows will put them in the 8. Playing Adelaide away and winning will be a bigger challenge for Fremantle than last week’s Derby win over the Eagles. Pavlich is on fire kicking 14 goals in the past 2 games and with Buddy out injured for the Hawks he might steal the Coleman medal at this rate.

Adelaide by 17

Gold Coast Suns V GWS Giants at Metricon Saturday

There are a lot more important games than this one on the weekend but for tipping difficulty level this match is up there with the best. The Giants won last week and the Suns were well beaten so based on form……ok losing form…..maybe the Giants can win back to back. Gold Coast has been playing better bad footy so I think they can do it.

Gold Coast by 29

Sydney V Collingwood at ANZ Stadium Saturday 

Top of the ladder plays 3rd and you can’t argue about the form of the Sydney Swans. They have been unbeatable for 9 weeks and Collingwood is standing in their way of making that 10 in a row. But the Pies present a big hurdle for that 10th Sydney win as history has shown that the Magpies have had the wood over the Swans, particularly at ANZ Stadium, over the years. The Swans eventually have to lose one don’t they? Just to even things up Collingwood have suspended their best player, Dane Swan, for drinking alcohol outside of allowed hours. Then again Bolton is out for Sydney so that may even up missing personnel of mass destruction.

Collingwood by 19

Carlton V Brisbane at Etihad Saturday

It’s suggested that Ratten’s tenure at the Blues will be over at the end of the season and there is already talk of Carlton easily making top 4 next season. Just as they easily will win the premiership in 2012! They, like St Kilda, can still make the 8 and beating the Brisbane Lions in this match will be one small step towards that goal. The problem at Carlton is a little deeper than their coach, simply, they need another 2 quality players. The loss of Carrazzo, Murphy and then Judd for periods leaves them without the required number of classy players to beat better teams consistently.

Carlton by 39

Hawthorn V Port Adelaide at Aurora Tassie Sunday

The first coach of 2012 has taken a bullet for the team as Primus departs the Power and it’s hoped he celebrates with a good night’s sleep because Port Adelaide has been his personal nightmare all year!  The Hawthorn juggernaut was finally spiked last week by Geelong but that loss and Buddy’s car accident notwithstanding they will be in the mood to give the Power a bit of a touch up this week. Hocking, the new stand-in coach at Port Adelaide has taken over for the last 4 games so his nightmares are just starting. Not sure what the problems are at Port but they run deeper than sacking a coach will fix. The AFL is sinking a few million into the club and it is hoped that whatever ails the club is not terminal.

Hawthorn by 55

Richmond V Western Bulldogs at MCG Sunday

The Tigers got themselves back into the winning circle last week and there’s nothing to suggest that the form of the Western Bulldogs is good enough to break that Tiger ring. The Bulldogs need a bit of an overhaul in some positions, a bit of experience in others and certainly need a focal point up forward. The Tigers are travelling okay and it was just the close games they lost which sees them where they are on the ladder instead of in the 8. Something they will no doubt rectify next season. There’s always next season!

Richmond by 29

Essendon V North Melbourne at Etihad Sunday

There’s a hell of a lot hanging on this game as both teams are on equal points sitting 7th and 8th on the ladder. Fremantle is breathing down their necks but fortunately for North and Essendon Freo has a tough one against Adelaide. The Bombers are again running out of steam like they did last year and any slip up is going to cost them dearly. North is playing pretty consistent football but they will need to play at their best to beat a desperate Essendon.  Should be a really close game. There’s nothing like a draw to complicate ladder predictions.


Article last changed on Thursday, August 09, 2012 - 9:37 AM EDT

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