April 25, 2007
ESSENDON VS COLLINGWOOD @ MCG, WEDNESDAY 2:40PM
Outside of finals this is arguably the biggest match of the year, and contests between these two sides, irrespective of where they sit on the ladder are always close, and you would expect today to be no excpetion.
However, with doubts over the fitness of several key Magpies, Lucas and Lloyd forming the most potent forward combination in the AFL, and the fact that Collingwood will be backing up after playing in the wet against Port Adelaide at the MCG last Saturday, the contest is tipped in Essendon's favour.
The Bombers should have too much firepower and leg speed through the middle, and should get over the line in a tight contest. Bombers by 17 points.
PORT ADELAIDE v ST KILDA – AAMI Stadium, Friday @ 7:40pm
Port Adelaide have had the wood on St Kilda in recent times, having won nine of their past ten.
The return of Dean Brogan to partner Brendon Lade in the ruck against Matthew Clarke, coupled with their superior pace through the middle should see the Power get over the line in a hard-fought contest. Power by 17 points.
RICHMOND v WEST COAST - MCG, Saturday @ 2:10pm
Despite finding themselves winless after the first month of football, the Tigers have had their opportunities to secure the four points in all four matches.
West Coast thumped Richmond by 88 points the last time these two sides met, and while the margin won't be so great this time around, the Eagles have too much class and should record a relatively comfortable win. Eagles by 42 points.
CARLTON v BRISBANE LIONS - Telstra Dome, Saturday @ 7:10pm
Both sides head into the NAB Cup Grand Final replay in losing form, with the Blues outclassed by a more experienced West Coast outfit, while the Lions went down to a more committed Kangaroos unit at Carrara.
The loss of Stevens for the year is proving to be costly for Carlton, who were well and truly thumped in the middle by West Coast at Subiaco Oval, and with Jonathon Brown due for a bag after booting 1.5 against the Roos, Brisbane should get up in a tight affair. Lions 19 points.
SYDNEY v MELBOURNE - SCG, Saturday @ 7:10pm
Sydney head into Saturday night's clash with virtually a full list of players to choose from, while the Demons have been ravaged by injury which has led them to an 0-4 start to the season.
The Demons have a reasonable record against the Swans, having won their past two at the SCG, but without the likes of Neitz, Robertson and co., Melbourne lack the firepower to match Sydney. Swans by 36 points.
HAWTHORN v WESTERN BULLDOGS – MCG, Sunday @ 1:10pm
After two disappointing losses to Adelaide and St Kilda, the Bulldogs did enough to get over the line against Richmond, with the return to form of Luke Darcy, who booted four one of the more pleasing aspects of the 32-point victory.
The loss of forward Mark Williams and defender Danny Jacobs is a major blow for the Hawks, and tips the contest in the Bulldogs favour, who have won four of their past five at the home of football. Bulldogs 25 points.
GEELONG v KANGAROOS – Skilled Stadium, Sunday @ 2:10pm
The Kangaroos finally broke through for their first win of the season against Brisbane at the Gabba, after gallant performances in the opening three rounds.
The Roos will need to deliver a similar hard-nosed performance against a more potent Geelong outfit.
The Kangaroos have not won at Skilled Stadium since 2003, and expect that trend to continue with the Cats potent forward line of Mooney, Ablett, Hawkins and co. enough to get them over the line. Cats by 26 points.
FREMANTLE v ADELAIDE - Sunday, Subiaco @ 4:40pm
After a disappointing start to the season, the Dockers finally broke through against an injury ravaged Melbourne side.
The real test to see where the Dockers are at in 2007 will come against a well-drilled and disciplined Crows outfit, which has won three straight, and suffocated last year's grand finalists at AAMI Stadium last Saturday night.
The Dockers forward combination of Pavlich and Tarrant has been working brilliantly to date, and with Johnson to return down back for Fremantle, the Dockers have too much firepower and should get over the line in a tight struggle. Dockers by 13 points.
Posted by Tony Keen at April 25, 2007 11:00 AM