Hawthorn v Sydney
Round 19 kicks off on Friday night with two powerhouses of the past few seasons going into battle again. The Swans have been nothing short of outstanding after losing their opening 6 games of the year to be sitting inside the top eight and only a game outside the top four. They have won 10 of their 11 games since the 0-6 start and that loss was against the Hawks. The Hawks revival has not been as stunning as the Swans but has been good all the same and while the finals may be a stretch for the Hawks they will relish helping shape the top eight. The Swans should get up in a tight one and keep this unbelievable charge to September going.
Predict Sydney win 13 points
North Melbourne v Melbourne
On paper the looks like a one sided game, the Roo’s have put players out to pasture and getting game time into a few kids while the Demons are building toward a finals tilt. In reality the kangaroo’s have a 16 game winning streak against the Demons and are a fair chance to keep that going down in tassie a place where they have played well (crows this year.) the Demons you would expect to win but the Kangaroos match up well and are deadly in front of goal if given enough opportunity. Expect a close one with no more than a couple goals in it all day and in the season of upsets the Kangas to keep the wood on the Demons.
Predict North Melbourne win 9 points
GWS v Freemantle.
The Dockers with little to play for but pride and the Giants desperate to find some form after a rough few weeks which has cast doubts over the premiership contenders tag. The loss of Greene through another suspension hurts this side a lot and he needs to pull his head in fast or risk being a liability come finals. The Dockers will defensively try to hold the Giants in a low scoring match but the Giants will have just enough class to get over the Dockers in a close one.
Predict GWS win 13 points
Port Adelaide v Saint Kilda
It’s do or die for the Saints a loss here and it’s pretty much lights out on a season which has showed so much promise. For the Power it’s a must win to keep their heads above water and keep a chance for a top four spot alive. The Power have yet to beat anyone of credibility and no side in the top 8, they will want this trend to continue at least today with the Saints sitting outside the eight. The Saints are more than capable of getting the win and in a windy wet day in Adelaide could be every chance. The Power will be without Wingard who has been in great form and will need to hit the ground running early and Locke the Saints up.
Predict Port Adelaide win 19 points
Gold Coast v Richmond
How good are the Tigers? It’s a question that we will find out over the next few weeks. They have had a couple shockers but keep popping up as a real contender. Today they face the Suns at Metricon were the Suns have played some good footy this year but have been very inconsistent also. The get the magician Ablett back in today which is as bigger inclusion as you will see. This will help the Suns in around the contest where the Tigers and Brownlow medal favourite Martin seem to play so well. Rance and the Tigers back line will be too strong for the Suns and this is where they win the game.
Predict Richmond win 16 points
Carlton v Geelong.
Carlton are yet to kick over 100 points this season and while they have been good defensively they will need more from the attacking side of things if they are to stand a chance against the Cats. The Cats are building nicely but still need to find a lift from some of their forwards they have made a heap of changes this week after getting done by the Crows in one of the Cats most disappointing outings this year. The Blues will find this last few weeks of the year a real slog after a few good performances the legs are getting heavy and they are not competing for as long in games. Geelong to go for the kill in an easy win.
Predict Geelong win 41 points
Western Bulldogs v Essendon
So much riding in this game for these two, with only a few rounds to go it will be one of these or the Eagles to fill out the last spot in the top eight. The Dogs have been savaged by injury and bad form all season but somehow are still in the equation as so many other teams don’t take their chances. The Bombers at their best have been brilliant but have lacked a little consistency. Expect a bit of a shoot out but with the Dogs down the Bombers to sneak home.
Predict Essendon win 11 points
Collingwood v Adelaide
A real test for the Crows today they seem to have found their form again the last few weeks again and the Pies while not setting the world on fire they have played some good footy and show glimpses of brilliance. Expect the game to be close early Collingwood have been fast starters while crows second halves have been their best. If the Pies can hold a big enough lead they ,as be able to hold the Crows out, but a lot will depend on their average goalkicking. Crows to finish the better and cement top spot on the ladder.
Predict Crows win 13 points
West Coast v Brisbane
One of the last roll of the dice for the Eagles, at home against bottom placed Lions nothing will do except a 10 goal win. The Lions will be just about ready to give up on the season and be looking to the draft and the next season. The Lions may give a yelp early but expect one way traffic for most the game. The Eagles will be fuming after last weeks late game capitulation and loss to the Pies.
Predict West Coast win 70 points