Footy on my mind – round 16

AFL Round 16

Friday, July 8

West Coast Eagles v Geelong

Saturday, July 9

Hawthorn v Brisbane Lions

Gold Coast v Sydney

Essendon v Richmond

Sunday, July 10

Collingwood v North Melbourne

Port Adelaide v St Kilda

Western Bulldogs v Carlton

Bye: Adelaide, Fremantle, Melbourne

West Coast Eagles v Geelong, Patersons Stadium, Friday 8.40pm (EST)

The Cats will be keen to rectify last week’s shock loss to Essendon but face a much improved Eagles side coming off the bye in Perth. I’m backing the Eagles at home on the wide open spaces of Patersons Stadium in a tight one. The Eagles would’ve done their homework and will need to limit the influence of Scarlett and Taylor particularly down back, use their run and make sure they hit their forward targets. Should be a ripping game and big crowd.

West Coast Eagles by 12 points

Hawthorn v Brisbane Lions, Aurora Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

The Hawks will be keen to get a win on the board after their injury toll finally cost them a game against a quality opposition in the Magpies. Their team structure has been decimated – no Gilham, Stratton and Roughead in particular has really hurt them. Lance Franklin is in doubt with an ankle injury but the coach has assured us he will play. I’d be more inclined to rest him and get him right for later on in the year. The Lions’ injury woes have influenced their effectiveness to win games again this season but finally produced a minor scalp in Port Adelaide last week. Michael Voss has unearthed some talent this year but needs to persist with youth and build the team from the ground up, while he can. There is genuine doubt over his coaching future beyond this season, which is a big concern for the club. Lions will be competitive but the Hawks play well in Tassie and have enough reserve to get the job done.

Hawthorn by 18 points

Gold Coast Suns v Sydney Swans, Metricon Stadium, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

I’ve been impressed with the Gold Coast this year, they’ve unearthed alot of talented youngsters to get excited about – Swallow, Bennell, Day, Lynch, Matera, Dixon, Smith, McKenzie – along with the likes of skipper Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli, who’ve helped carry them this year. For most games the Suns have been competitive in short bursts and gradually have upped the tempo to sustain it for three quarters but fall short on class to get the wins. Looking at the Swans, they need to win this game. They’ve dropped too many games that they should’ve won and lost too many games due to not making the most of their opportunities. Backing the Swans in a tight one.

Sydney by 10 points

Essendon v Richmond, MCG, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

The winner of this “clash of the sash” will be whichever side turns up. If last week’s Bombers and last week’s Tigers turn up, the Bombers will win and win easily. The Bombers were outstanding last week, now they need to back it up. The Tigers, meanwhile, must atone for last weekend’s embarrassing 103 point thumping by Carlton. I’m sticking with the Bombers.

Essendon by 25 points

Collingwood v North Melbourne, MCG, Sunday 1.10pm (EST)

The Pies lose Chris Dawes, which makes the Roos’ defensive job easier but can’t see the Pies dropping this one and if the reigning premiers come to play, this could be a 15 goal belter. For the Roos to win they need to deny them the ball, hit targets and make the most of their scoring opportunities. Can’t go past the Pies, they’re starting to run into their best form, which is scary for the rest of the competition.

Collingwood by 30 points

Port Adelaide v St Kilda, AAMI Stadium, Sunday 3.10pm (EST)

Can Port Adelaide string a four quarter performance together and get a win? They had their chances against the Lions last week but couldn’t deliver the four points. The Saints weren’t overly impressive despite their 9 point win over the Kangaroos last Sunday either, but should be good enough here. The Saints are in better shape and have more class than the struggling Power at the moment.

St Kilda by 18 points

Western Bulldogs v Carlton, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 4.40pm (EST)

The Dogs are running into some momentum after winning their past three but come up against Carlton, who are top four material and have made significant inroads since last season. I’m backing the Blues because they’ve got a better midfield, a more than capable defense in holding the Dogs attacking options and a forward half with more bite.

Carlton by 18 points

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