Footy on my mind – round 13

AFL Round 13

Friday, June 17

Western Bulldogs v Adelaide

Saturday, June 18

Hawthorn v Gold Coast Suns

Essendon v North Melbourne

Brisbane Lions v Richmond

St Kilda v Geelong

Sunday, June 19

Melbourne v Fremantle

Carlton v Sydney Swans

West Coast Eagles v Port Adelaide

Bye: Collingwood

Western Bulldogs v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, Friday 7.40pm (EST)

Both the Dogs and the Crows have lost their past four so regardless of the result, I can’t see either a chance of playing finals. The Dogs need to make big calls on their elder statesmen and bring in youth. I can’t fathom the dropping of promising youngster Christian Howard, he is the future. Plenty is going wrong for coach Rodney Eade at the moment, they lead the league for clangers and their kicking efficiency is well below what it should be. The Crows haven’t been much better but a more established line up and solid contributors across the ground should be enough to get the job done in an ugly battle. Extra pressure mounts on the losing coach.

Adelaide by 12 points.

Hawthorn v Gold Coast Suns, Aurora Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

Hawthorn were unlucky not to have beaten Geelong last week but deficiencies were noted, particularly down back with no support for Gibson and Schoenmakers, since the season ending injuries to Gilham and Stratton. No Roughead for the year extends their injury list even further and will test their depth against the top four sides. Just imagine the Hawks with a full squad to pick from. They tackle a Gold Coast team without a quality young budding ruckman in Zac Smith, who is my favourite for this year’s Rising Star award, and an ankle injury to David Swallow keeps me out of the side also. The Suns’ young bodies are tiring so the Hawks should have an easy win here.

Hawthorn by 32 points.

Essendon v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

I like North Melbourne in this game. They’re starting to get some much needed continuity in their game and play with more spirit and drive. Key players are also returning to senior action, which always boosts a senior line up. The Bombers, though, have lost their past three and as many have predicted, “the bubble” has finally burst. James Hird has swung the axe on senior men Andrew Welsh and David Hille and brought in their most consistent and best performed ruckman of 2011 in Tom Bellchambers along with Brent Stanton, Sam Lonergan and Heath Hocking returns from suspension. I’m expecting the Bombers to perform but I like the Roos at the moment.

North Melbourne by 18 points.

Brisbane Lions v Richmond, Gabba, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

The Lions have problems, big problems. Their game plan at the moment is not working so Michael Voss and his coaching staff need to devise a new one and execute it quickly. But as many of us know, game plans take time to execute well with a young team. Getting the football to Jonathan Brown up forward is a struggle for the Lions at the moment, and if you can’t win the ball in the midfield you’re in big trouble. They face the Tigers who have hit a form slump but in their defense, have been on the road playing interstate the past month. I really like what Damien Hardwick is doing with this Richmond team and I’m going to back them in for a win against a dispirited Brisbane outfit.

Richmond by 20 points.

St Kilda v Geelong, MCG, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

I’m really looking forward to this game. The Saints are starting to get back to their best but face an up and about Geelong, who have been terrific all year. No Joel Selwood for the next four weeks hurts them but the Cats have plenty of other players to bring in and cover his loss. I’m expecting a close game but the Cats will again get the four points.

Geelong by 12 points.

Melbourne v Fremantle, MCG, Sunday 1.10pm (EST)

Melbourne have been my greatest disappointment of the year. Very inconsistent and lack of intensity around the football are two of the reasons why they’ve failed to deliver. The game plan has merit but they need to execute it alot better than they have this year. I think Tom Scully will go to GWS and I don’t think Dean Bailey will be at the helm beyond this season. The Dockers record in Melbourne isn’t great but their last game at this venue was against Hawthorn, where they were very unlucky not to have gotten the four points. I’m confident the Dockers will get the job done, and they will need to, come finals time.

Fremantle by 25 points.

Carlton v Sydney Swans, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 2.10pm (EST)

Match of the round. The Blues have made significant improvements this season and look set to finish top four and win their first final since 2001. Chris Judd and Marc Murphy are in All-Australian form, but I love the improvement in full back Michael Jamison, who now has now become an all-rounded defender who has attacking flair. They’re playing exciting football at the moment. The Swans challenge them this week and have improved since their loss to the Blues at the SCG earlier this season. Shane Mumford is a huge in but the Swans will need to kick a big score to topple the Blues, which I don’t think will happen.

Carlton by 20 points.

West Coast Eagles v Port Adelaide, Patersons Stadium, Sunday 4.40pm (EST)

Easy pickings here. The Eagles are a class above the Power at the moment and are strongly in the mix for a top four spot. The Power welcome back their skipper Dom Cassisi but they need all cards to be dealt right for any chance of beating the Eagles on their home turf. If Port don’t come to play, this could get ugly.

West Coast Eagles by 45 points.

 

 

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