Round 20 looms as one of the most important this season so far with five of the rounds nine games between top 8 hopefuls and the remaining games have a couple teams in desperate need of a win to try to grip on the a slim finals hope.Friday night footy doesn’t get much bigger than this with two of the leagues heavy weights going toe to toe, both sides with key personnel missing it will be a very interesting match indeed. Saturday’s early games look to be a miss match with the remaining games on Saturday between teams already looking to next season. The Games on Sunday all have Epic written all over them a Showdown the Tiger train running up against the Hawks and the Saints and Eagles both desperate to gain a final eight spot.
Geelong v Sydney
No Danger, No Kennedy but no worries it will be a classic, so much to play for. Swans have been backed well into favourites for this match even without Kennedy the Swans get 3 big inclusions and Tippett. This should be enough to tip the scales in the way of the Swans but the Cats at home are something special and with Dangerfield missing with a pretty soft suspension they will be fired up. The Swans have done so much to get themselves back into the eight and a loss here is not season ending but makes it tough for the next couple weeks. Out of the pack chasing the top eight the Swans seem to be the only ones that are taking every chance they get. This is a big opportunity for them with the other games being played this week to get a little breather. The Cats welcome the return to form of Hawkins and a lot will be riding on his shoulders with the excitement machine Cockatoo out with injury and Motlop out of touch.
Predict Sydney win 9 points
Essendon v Carlton
Almost last roll of the dice time for the Bombers. They have showed so. Icy this year and could be a real threat come finals, but they have not taken their chances when presented so far in the past few weeks. The Blues have been very admirable in defeat this season but the long season has finally caught up to them and I’d expect a couple bad beats in the last few weeks. The Bombers will be far to classy for the weary Blues. The only thing that may keep the game close is the Bombers bad kicking.
Predict Essendon win 68 points
GWS v Melbourne
Both sides have had plenty of chances to sure up their finals and it’s the Giants who have been very flat the past month couple with a couple injuries and suspensions they seem to be floundering. The Demons have been better and sit just inside the top eight. With the 8 point variant in some of today’s games this is about as big as it gets for the Demons. Back at home the Giants will be eager to start finding some form heading into finals and should be able to do enough to get over the Demons.
Predict GWS win 29 points
Brisbane v Western Bulldogs
Back at the Gabba and the Lions have little to play for they sit bottom of the ladder and with all important draft picks on the line they won’t risk winning any more games from here. The Dogs bounced back to their best last week after a real struggle through the middle part of the year. They will run all over the Lions today and I doubt the Lions will put up much of a fight, with a top 8 spot up for grabs last years premiers will be all over the Lions.
Predict Western Bulldogs win 54 points
North Melbourne v Collingwood
How good where North last week upsetting Melbourne, and good and bad Collingwood were up by 50 only to draw. It is the story of collingowods season summed up in one game. Today could go either way if good Collingwood turn up they win but in the flip side if the same Kangaroos side turns up as last week they will give the Pies a really good run for their money. If Collingwood can get the jump early expect them them not to let it slip away.
Predict Collingwood win 19 points
Freemantle v GoldCoast
Again we have two sides outside the top 8 with not much left to play for, the Suns have had glimpses of good this year but has been another underwhelming season. The Dockers at one stage looked a top 8 chance after stringing a few wins together but things have dropp3d off a little since. At home the Dockers are still a force to be reckoned with and should be good enough to get the job done over a Suns team that just does not travel well.
Predict Freemantle win 22 points
Saint Kilda v West Coast
These two fought out a ripping game early this year in the West and had it not been for some wayward kicking by the saints then they may have got the win. Both sides have been very up and down missing chances to secure a top 8 spot. There seasons have almost paralleled each other. With the game at Etihad it gives the Saints a slight edge and it’s last roll of the dice time for them if they want to play Finals footy. Same can be said for the Eagles a win puts them back in the top 8 1 game clear ahead of Melbourne and two games ahead of the Saints. If the saints lose its season over, but they will torture their fans for another week and get a win here and keep the glimmer of hope alive.
Predict Saint Kilda win 19 points
Richmond v Hawthorn
Another big test for the Tigers today, the Hawks season is over but the Tigers are gearing up for a finals run. Sitting a game clear in 4th a win today and a loss for the Power all but assures the Tigers of a top 4 spot. Luke Hodge will miss today’s game an important one for the Hawks for Roughead’s 200th. Expect it to be tight the Tigers defensively are one of the best and play hard contested footy like the Hawks. The match might not be pretty but expect an absolute classic.
Predict Richmond win 9 points
Adelaide v Port Power
The Showdown is as big as it gets in Adelaide and with the Crows sitting atop the AFL ladder and the Power napping at the heels of a top 4 finish it’s one of the. Ore important showdowns in recent years. The jeckal and Hyde crows of the past few weeks will want that all put behind them and what better way than to get a win over the Power. Even though the Power are yet to beat a top 8 side they still look like a real threat in the finals with the hard running style of play they have. As always the Showdown will be heated but this close to finals no one will risk anything silly.
Predict Adelaide win 17 points