Footy on my mind – round 19

AFL Round 19

Friday, July 29

North Melbourne v Carlton

Saturday, July 30

Western Bulldogs v West Coast Eagles

Geelong v Melbourne

Gold Coast Suns v St Kilda

Fremantle v Hawthorn

Sunday, July 31

Collingwood v Essendon

Adelaide v Port Adelaide

Bye: Brisbane Lions, Sydney Swans, Richmond

North Melbourne v Carlton, Etihad Stadium, Friday 7.40pm (EST)

The Roos have won 8 of their past 9 games against the Blues and have the perfect opportunity to claim a top four scalp in Carlton. The Blues are still missing key duo Jarrad Waite and Michael Jamison, which gives the Roos a chance. If the Roos are going to play finals, this is a game they must win. The Blues, though, have a much better midfield which boasts alot of class and I think their unpredictable forward line can kick a winning score, which was very evident in their 74 point demolition job of Essendon last week.

Carlton by 20 points

Western Bulldogs v West Coast Eagles, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

The Dogs have made alot of changes for this game, with alot of key players missing. No Cooney, Cross, Gilbee, Grant, Lake leads a long list of absentees with doubts over the fitness of Morris and Griffen as well. The Eagles aren’t without their concerns either, they’ve lost Kennedy to a freak training accident and Naitanui will miss as well. The Dogs play well at Etihad but the Eagles are a better side and too many players out for the Dogs sways me towards the West Coast. Big game for the Dogs though, lose this and finals will be a longshot.

West Coast Eagles by 18 points

Geelong v Melbourne, Skilled Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

The Cats have won their last two after a couple trying weeks but now look to have gained significant drive and momentum in their performances. Melbourne are a team on the rise with a list I rate highly but they’ll be no match for Geelong at Skilled Stadium. The Cats have won 27 consecutive games at Skilled and I don’t suspect that will change this week.

Geelong by 30 points

Gold Coast Suns v St Kilda, Metricon Stadium, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

I commend the way Gold Coast have handled their young list in their first season at the top level and it’s very clear that they have alot of talent. I have no doubt they will be a very good side in another 2-3 years time. They were competitive last week against the reigning premiers Collingwood and this week they’ll face another test in St Kilda in a home game, which is great opportunity to give their supporters something to get excited about. The Saints are in the eight and even without their suspended skipper Nick Riewoldt, the Saints have alot more to play for and I’d expect them to get over the line pretty well.

St Kilda by 25 points

Fremantle v Hawthorn, Patersons Stadium, Saturday 7.40pm (EST)

The Dockers were terrific last week, coming back from a 22 point deficit in the third term to only lose by a kick to their cross town rivals in the West Coast Eagles. This is a big game for them, still no Aaron Sandilands so they will need to lift again to cement a finals birth. Matthew Pavlich needs to play full forward for the whole game, he is a match winner and plays his best football as a permanent forward. The Hawks, though, are flying. They’ve been decimated with injury this year but are in the top four and just playing beautifully. All of their players are in super form and they have quality across every line. This game will be close because it’s in the west but I like the Hawks, just.

Hawthorn by 12 points

Collingwood v Essendon, MCG, Sunday 2.10pm (EST)

The reigning premiers have won nine straight and 19 out of 22 at the MCG which tells you they love getting out onto the ground and playing. Essendon’s record at the venue is not so crash hot, they’ve won just one of their past 11 at the MCG and three of their past nine matches overall. The Bombers pressure will be a key to winning this game but they’ll also need to kick a winning score, which is a worry without Michael Hurley, who has become their go to man in the goalsquare. The Pies are a class above the rest and will end the Bombers’ finals hopes.

Collingwood by 30 points

Adelaide v Port Adelaide, AAMI Stadium, Sunday 4.40pm (EST)

Huge clash in Adelaide after what has really been a trying year for football in the state of South Australia, from Port Adelaide’s struggles on and off the field to Adelaide coach Neil Craig’s resignation this week. The Crows have been dismal all year while the Power haven’t been much better but I’m tipping the Power on the basis that they have more spirit than that of the demoralised Crows.

Port Adelaide by 10 points

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