Footy on my mind – round 22

Round 22

Friday 18 August

Carlton v Hawthorn

Saturday 19 August

Gold Coast v Adelaide

West Coast v Essendon

North Melbourne v Fremantle

Collingwood v Brisbane

Sunday 20 August

Sydney v St Kilda

Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs

Melbourne v Richmond

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

This shapes up to be game of the round as both clubs sure up their top four aspirations, with the Eagles breathing down their neck. Hawthorn have been outstanding all season, considering the injuries they’ve had to deal with. After a couple lean seasons since the 2008 flag, the Hawks appear to be in striking distance once again. This game will be won in the midfield, where it’s pretty even. If the Blues can get on top of the Hawks’ midfield and shutdown their back half, that will limit the supply to Hale and Franklin, as well as Rioli at ground level. I worry about the Carlton defense, even with the inclusion of Jamison. Expecting a tight contest but leaning towards the Hawks in a Friday night thriller.

Hawthorn by 12 points

Gold Coast Suns v Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)

The Gold Coast have hit the wall and they have alot of tired bodies in their team at the moment who are longing for the season to end. The Suns are yet to win at Metricon Stadium this year and I think that trend will continue on Saturday afternoon. The Crows have been reinvigorated under caretaker coach Mark Bickley and have won two out the past three games, with an honourable 11 point loss to Geelong last weekend. This game is shaping up to be a free flowing contest but the Crows are better and good enough to win.

Adelaide by 18 points

West Coast Eagles v Essendon, Patersons Stadium, Saturday 1.10pm (EST)

West Coast by a mile here. Essendon don’t travel well, they’ve only won one of their past 11 at Patersons Stadium and they will be without Hurley, Pears and Fletcher which is significant. The Bombers have been terrific the past couple weeks but they’re facing a tall order against an Eagles side who are running hot. The Eagles are still in the hunt for a top four spot and will pinch fourth if the Blues lose to the Hawks on Friday night.

West Coast by 25 points

North Melbourne v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

The Dockers have been cruelled by injury this season, which in turn, as significantly impacted their performances this season. Fremantle have struggled with continuity in their performances outside of Perth but will be desperate to win and keep their finals aspirations well and truly
alive. The Roos, meanwhile, are in better form than their opponents and will keep their finals hopes alive with a home win.

North Melbourne by 18 points

Collingwood v Brisbane Lions, MCG, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)

The Magpies are travelling nicely, aside from a few injury problems, which could become an issue come finals time. They face the Lions on Saturday night, who have had a much improved second half of the season and will fancy themselves against the flag favourites. I think the Lions
will be brave and competitive for three quarters but the Pies will outdo them in the end.

Collingwood by 25 points

Sydney Swans v St Kilda, ANZ Stadium, Sunday 1.10pm (EST)

Another intriguing contest with both sides looking to consolidate a spot in the top eight. The Swans desperately need to win or face the prospect of missing the finals altogether. St Kilda, though, have been in good form the past month and a half, just going down to Collingwood by 19 points last weekend. The Saints are in better form and it will take a major turnaround from last week for the Swans to dismantle this St Kilda side.

St Kilda by 12 points

Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs, AAMI Stadium, Sunday 3.10pm (EST)

The Bulldogs make the trip to Adelaide after a very eventful week, which resulted in the dismissal of coach Rodney Eade and the interim appointment of assistant Paul Williams for the remaining three games of the season as the Bulldogs hierarchy go through the process of securing a coach for 2012. Port Adelaide, though, have their own issues. The past couple weeks have been disastrous, beginning with a 145 point loss to
Collingwood and ending with a 165 point loss to Hawthorn. Off field issues and speculation over the future of Kane Cornes and others have made it a horrendous lead up to their preparations for this weekend’s game. Can’t see the Power getting up, Dogs pretty easily for me.

Western Bulldogs by 45 points

Melbourne v Richmond, MCG, Sunday 4.40pm (EST)

Not much riding on this game other than club pride but expecting an exciting game of footy. The Tigers were terrific last week, disposing of the Swans and they ran them off their legs at the same venue, something they need to replicate against the Demons. Melbourne, on the other hand, need to make a statement and play as if their life depended on it. There were too many insipid and lazy efforts by the likes of Colin Sylvia, Cale
Morton and Aaron Davey last weekend and those three in particular are now playing for their careers. Skipper Brad Green returns but his efforts alone won’t be enough to get the Demons’ their first win under interim coach Todd Viney.

Richmond by 25 points




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