Footy on my mind – round 17

AFL Round 17

Friday, July 15

Adelaide v Essendon

Saturday, July 16

Richmond v Gold Coast Suns

Carlton v Collingwood

St Kilda v West Coast Eagles

Melbourne v Port Adelaide

Sunday, July 17

Sydney Swans v Fremantle

Brisbane Lions v Geelong

North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

Bye: Hawthorn

Adelaide v Essendon, AAMI Stadium, Friday 8.40pm (EST)

Adelaide will go in as favourites due to the fact they’re playing at home but the Bombers are in better form than their opponents and have won their past two and appear to be hitting some form. The bulk of 2011 has been a year gone wrong for Neil Craig and his young Crows but they have eight games left to finish the year off on a high. The Bombers are playing for a finals spot and need to keep on winning as many games as they can to fixture in September.

Essendon by 12 points

Richmond v Gold Coast Suns, Cazaly’s Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

I’m sure the Gold Coast will see this as a winnable game but after their embarrassing capitulation to the Sydney Swans last weekend, it’s evident that the length of the season is taking it’s toll on their young bodies. The Suns have used 40 players and blooded 28 debutants, which is just an extraordinary number and not hard to see why they will probably struggle in the remaining eight games. I’m expecting the Suns to be competitive for most of the game but I think the Tigers would’ve learnt alot over the past couple weeks to get the job down, and they need a win.

Richmond by 18 points

Carlton v Collingwood, MCG, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

This is a top of the table clash between the premiership favourites in Collingwood and Carlton, who are trying to cement their place in the top four. The Magpies are yet to hit their peak and are missing injured duo Alan Didak and Chris Dawes, which is scary for the rest of the competition. Carlton’s loss to the Bulldogs last weekend comes at a bad time and they will be without Jarrad Waite for the next month, joining key defender Michael Jamison on the sidelines, which causes structure issues. It puts too much on too few where as Collingwood have a very even contribution from their 22. The Blues will need to lift and be at their very best to beat the Pies but I don’t think they will.

Collingwood by 20 points

St Kilda v West Coast Eagles, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

I think this will be a close game for the most part but the problem for St Kilda is that you can’t strangle a team like the West Coast. I’ll be interested to see how the Saints tackle the Eagles’ forward press, which they execute so well. The Saints have done well to get back in reach of the eight after a poor start and a win against the Eagles would be a big scalp in their finals aspirations. The Eagles have won their past two and claimed big scalps in Carlton and Geelong; have multiple forward options, a very good midfield led by ruck duo Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui and their defense is only going to get better with the inclusion of the highly rated Beau Waters. The Eagles are on a roll full of confidence and they’ll move closer to locking in a top four spot with a win here.

Melbourne v Port Adelaide, TIO Stadium, Saturday 8.40pm (EST)

I’m tipping the Demons here because of Port Adelaide’s lack of intensity and lack of full four quarter performances, which has robbed them of winnable games this year. This will be a tight contest but I think Melbourne’s youth and run will outdo the Power’s efforts up in Darwin.

Melbourne by 7 points

Sydney Swans v Fremantle, SCG, Sunday 1.10pm (EST)

Fremantle have alot of injury concerns at the moment and nobody heads that list more so than Aaron Sandilands. He’s crucial to the Dockers’ finals hopes despite the encouraging form of former Crow Jonathon Griffin. Without Sandilands though, I can’t see the Dockers beating a Sydney side who play their best football at the SCG. The Swans comprehensively beat the Suns by 70 points last week but back-to-back wins are vital for the Swans to keep themselves in the eight. I don’t think Sydney are good enough to beat the best in the competition but can get the job done against the lower sides of the eight.

Sydney by 8 points

Brisbane Lions v Geelong, Gabba, Sunday 2.10pm (EST)

Unless Jonathan Brown kicks 10 goals or more, I can’t see Brisbane winning this one. Mitch Clark comes back in to help out, and the return of Brent Staker gives them much needed support down back. The Cats have lost their past two but should win this one quite comfortably.

Geelong by 30 points

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

Based on what I’ve seen from the Roos output the past couple weeks, I can’t see them getting past the improving Dogs. The Bulldogs have turned their season around after a poor start having won their past four and are just two points out of the eight. Unfortunately the Roos don’t have the class and game breakers to beat a side like the Dogs, who are a class above their opponents. I like what I’m seeing from the Bulldogs at the moment and they should make it five wins on the trot.

Western Bulldogs by 25 points

 

 

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