Footy on my mind – round 9

AFL Round 9

Friday, May 20

Carlton v Geelong

Saturday, May 21

St Kilda v Melbourne

Port Adelaide v Fremantle

Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne

Richmond v Essendon

Sunday, May 22

Collingwood v Adelaide

Sydney Swans v Hawthorn

West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs

Carlton v Geelong, Etihad Stadium, Friday 7.40pm (EST)

It’s been a very emotional week for the Cats with the passing of club legend Bob Davis. The 1963 premiership coach will be honoured prior to the game with a minute’s silence, but as soon as the ball bounces it’s game on. I’m expecting a close contest but tipping the Cats, just. The Blues have improved alot since last season but the Cats welcome back Cameron Mooney and Darren Milburn, who I believe will figure prominently on the night. The Blues get some grunt ball winning ability in the middle through the inclusion of Brock McLean, while former Cat Jeremy Laidler will have a big night in defence. The ruck is the area of the ground where it’ll be won and lost, and whichever ruckmen can feed it to their midfield’s advantage will win the game.

Geelong by 12 points.

St Kilda v Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm

Can’t see Melbourne winning this one. No Jamar, Grimes, Garland, Scully, Trengove and Dunn is going to make it tough. The Saints get back Leigh Montagna after serving a 1 match ban and Jason Blake also returns, while Nick Winmar finally gets a crack in the senior team, along with former Docker Brett Peake. I still think the Saints need to get back to their lock down defensive game plan that they were so good at the past few years. We’ll learn alot out of this game on both sides.

St Kilda by 15 points.

Port Adelaide v Fremantle, AAMI Stadium, Saturday 3.10pm

Port are always a chance, because they can occasionally produce stunning football, especially in front of a home crowd. But they never produce it for four quarters. The Dockers were shocking last week against the Eagles but I’m tipping them to regroup and get a much needed win against the inconsistent Port Adelaide side.

Fremantle by 12 points.

Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne, Gabba, Saturday 7.40pm

I think this game is going to be alot closer than many people think. The Lions get a big boost with skipper Jonathan Brown returning but the losses of Josh Drummond and Ash McGrath will hurt them. The Roos will struggle to contain the Lions’ forwards without Nathan Grima, and will have to rely on Scott Thompson and debutant Luke Delaney to mind Brown and Mitch Clark. I think the Roos need to give Ben McKinley and Cam Pedersen more of a run in the ones, they shouldn’t be far away. Brad Scott has a good list but it lacks depth. If the Roos had their very best 22 out on the park – that includes Hamish McIntosh and Ryan Bastinac particularly – then I’d tip the Roos because they’re a terrific footy side at full tilt. The Lions have been pretty competitive but stiff to not get a win yet, I think it’ll come on Saturday night.

Brisbane Lions by 7 points.

Richmond v Essendon, MCG, Saturday 7.40pm

The obvious choice is the Bombers, but for some reason I just feel like this is going to be a lot closer than people think. Richmond can produce some stunning football and they’re two of the most watchable sides in the competition right now, so I expect a high-scoring and tight game. The absences of Jobe Watson, Heath Hocking and Michael Hurley will affect the Bombers but I do think they have enough in them to get the job done over the Tigers, who struggled defensively over the Dogs last week. Bombers for me.

Essendon by 6 points.

Collingwood v Adelaide Crows, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 1.10pm

Adelaide have been very inconsistent this season, while Collingwood are heights above the rest, despite the close lost to the Cats last week. In Melbourne at Etihad, the Pies have too much class and will get the four points. A danger game for Adelaide if they lose track with the Pies.

Collingwood by 25 points.

Sydney Swans v Hawthorn, SCG, Sunday 2.10pm

Both of these teams have been in exceptional form at times recently. Hawthorn’s last three quarters against the Saints were incredible and the Swans were impressive last week as well, but both teams had opposition that really fell away, so it’s hard to judge their form. I’m tipping the Swans in a very tight contest at the SCG. They play very well there and the Hawks haven’t had things go their way in the past. I’m not convinced that Hawthorn are a top 4 side either, but here’s their chance.

Sydney Swans by 1 point.

West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs, Patersons Stadium, Sunday 4.40pm

I’m tipping the Eagles but expecting a cracking match in the West. The Bulldogs running the ball through the Eagles’ press might be an interesting game plan to watch, hence why I think this game will be so close. The Dogs will miss Adam Cooney’s influence greatly but the inclusions of Barry Hall, Tom Williams and Shaun Higgins are timely. There are fitness concerns over both Andrew Embley and Daniel Kerr heading into this match, if they play the Eagles should win comfortably, if they don’t, it will be alot closer. I’m tipping the latter.

West Coast Eagles by 12 points.

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