Footy on my mind – round 23Posted: August 26, 2011
Friday August 26
Fremantle v Collingwood
Saturday August 27
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs
Geelong v Sydney
St Kilda v North Melbourne
Brisbane Lions v West Coast
Sunday August 28
Adelaide v Richmond
Melbourne v Gold Coast
Essendon v Port Adelaide
Fremantle v Collingwood, Patersons Stadium, Friday 8.40pm (EST)
The Dockers have been decimated by injuries to key players this season and it’s finally caught up to them at the pointy end of the season. They need to find something to take out of this game against the reigning premiers as they plan for 2012. A big opportunity to find out about their playing group and experiment. The Pies, on the other hand, will want to bury the depleted Dockers from the get go.
Collingwood by 50 points
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs, MCG, Saturday, 2.10pm (EST)
The Hawks are in great form and despite key injuries to the likes of Gilham and Roughead, have introduced some fresh young talent who have produced. The Hawks will beat the Bulldogs, who under caretaker coach Paul Williams, knocked over
Port Adelaide last week but the clash with the Hawks is the real test. The Dogs will be competitive and challenge the Hawks, but they won’t be able to sustain the needed intensity to cause an upset.
Hawthorn by 25 points
Geelong v Sydney Swans, Skilled Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm (EST)
The Cats will be too strong for the gallant Swans, particularly at home. The Swans haven’t beaten the Cats at Skilled Stadium since 1999 and I suspect that record to continue on Saturday. The Swans can’t afford to be blown out of the water in this game so they need to be at least competitive so they can go into their finals defining clash in Round 24, when they host the Brisbane Lions at the SCG.
Geelong by 45 points
St Kilda v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)
This should be game of the round with both sides needing to win, St Kilda to consolidate a finals spot and North to also grab a finals spot. The Saints aren’t in their best form and North are building. The Roos don’t have a good record beating top eight sides but they have yet, another opportunity to claim their biggest scalp yet. The Saints have plenty of match winners and the Roos have plenty of upside. North’s run and ability to hit the scoreboard was on show against the Dockers last weekend and that’s an area they can exploit the Saints.
North Melbourne by 12 points
Brisbane Lions v West Coast Eagles, Gabba, Saturday 7.10pm (EST)
This is a danger game for the Eagles if they’re not on their A-game, so it’s important they get on top early. The Lions have been pretty competitive in most of their games this season but despite their bravery and endeavor, they won’t be good enough to knock off the highly-fancied Eagles. Too many injuries to key Lions, notably Merrett and Brown, robs them of the ability to compete at the highest level.
West Coast Eagles by 25 points
Adelaide v Richmond, AAMI Stadium, Sunday 1.10pm (EST)
The Crows have been impressive since Mark Bickley has been in charge, and even though he is yet to put his hand up for the coaching job next year, the former premiership skipper of 1997-98 has done his chances no harm. The Tigers have won their past two, which does alot for their confidence but against the Crows at AAMI Stadium, they’ll fall short.
Adelaide by 20 points
Melbourne v Gold Coast Suns, MCG, Sunday 2.10pm (EST)
This is shaping up to be an entertaining contest with alot of young talent on show for both sides. The Suns will make their MCG debut and should put up a good fight but I think the Dees have what it takes to score their first win under caretaker coach Todd Viney.
Melbourne by 18 points
Essendon v Port Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 4.40pm (EST)
Essendon haven’t defeated Port Adelaide since 2004 but that will change on Sunday. The Power don’t have the hunger and enough cattle on the park to overcome what has been a much improved Essendon lineup under former premiership skipper James Hird. The Bombers have a finals spot on the line and a win here should just about consolidate a spot come September. Port Adelaide, however, need to show some fight and get physical with the Bombers. Anything less than a competitive effort should be deemed as extremely disappointing to a footy club that has had very little go right this season.
Essendon by 30 points