AFL ROUND 12
SYDNEY v WESTERN BULLDOGS
Tonight we have the Grand Final replay with the Swans at home taking on the Western Bulldogs. They have played already this year in Round 2 when the Dogs won by 4 goals.
Surprisingly the Swans have only won one match at home this year when they beat the bottom side Brisbane. They were beaten by Hawthorn a fortnight ago in what was a terrible loss. Kurt Tippett has been dropped for the Swans.
The Western Bulldogs have lost some key players for this clash with Bob Murphy, Dale Morris and Tom Boyd all out. They do however have a great recent record against Sydney having won the last four games between these two sides including wins at the SCG in 2016 and 2015.
Conditions are expected to be heavy for this game with Sydney expecting up 20-30mm of rain. The wet weather probably helps Sydney but they do look a shell of a side from previous years. They will need Buddy Franklin to once again dominate which he did last game and they still couldn't beat Hawthorn. The Dogs should have a bit to much class over the duration and should win a tight tough contest in slogging conditions.
Western Bulldogs Margin 1-393 at 2.70-3
BRISBANE v FREMANTLE
Added 10:49 Wednesday
Brisbane and Fremantle do battle at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon. The Lions have not won since the opening round and will be desperate here in a game where they will fancy their chances. The Lions should regain Tom Rockliff who has missed the last two games through injury.
Fremantle seem to have hit the wall. They got smashed by 100 points in the wet against Adelaide and then last week they couldn't get over a top of a Collingwood side that was down to one player fit player on the bench in the last qtr. The Dockers have had some stirring wins this year and rely heavily on a handful of star players having big games. Fyfe - Neale - Mundy -Walters and the Hill brothers all need to be at their best week in week out for Freo to be in the contest. McCarthy and Kersten up forward will fancy themselves against the worst defence in the comp and they will need to be a whole lot better then they have been recently.
Fremantle are showing all the signs of a team that is desperate for the bye and losing Sandilands in the past fortnight has hurt them badly. It seems unlikely he would be risked in this game. The Lions will have had 13 days rest coming into this game while the Dockers will be off a six day break and have the long trip across the country.
The line for this game is coming down and currently some books are at 18.5/19.5. Although the Lions have only won one game they will setting themselves here and fancy their chances and the Dockers might be in a fragile state here. Home team with the start theory gets a run here.
ESSENDON v PORT ADELAIDE
Essendon and Port Adelaide battle it out tonight at Etihad in what looms as exciting clash between two attacking sides.
The Bombers have lost the last two games against GWS and Richmond but have not been disgraced only losing by the margins of 16 and 15 points. Previous to that they had big wins over West Coast and Geelong.
Port Adelaide have been super impressive this year handing out some big wins on their way to a 6-4 start to the season. They have been helped by next to no injuries and regain star Chad Wingard here.
The line for this game started around -15.5 the Power and the line has continued to climb and now sits at rather high 26.5. As well at Port are going this seems a touch high and Essendon are no pushovers especially at home.
I am happy to go against the steam here and take the home team with the start in what i suspect should be a tough close encounter.
CARLTON v GWS
Even with a mounting injury list the GWS continue to get the job done. This week they head to Melbourne to play Carlton at Etihad on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues have been decent this year and surprised a few sides and been competitive in many others. Bolton looks a smart coach and he has installed a strong defensive structure at Carlton and that makes them hard to break down.
Normally you would expect the Giants to dish up a big win here on a fast track which suits their young quick team. However, the injury list they have endured this year means they are more likely to win between the margin of 1-39. The Giants have won their last four games by margins of 16, 8, 3 and 3. They are working extra hard for their wins and just don't have enough in the tank to win by a blow out margin, that combined with a Carlton side who will again pride itself on it's team defence and work ethic and you have to once again fancy the Giants at the 1-39 margin.
MELBOURNE v COLLINGWOOD
Collingwood and Melbourne face off for their annual Queens Birthday Clash this Monday at the MCG. The Pies are on a winning streak having won there last three games. While they haven't beaten world beaters in Hawthorn - Brisbane and Fremantle they will have take some confidence from stringing some good performances together.
Unfortunately for the Pies they copped some serious injuries in the win over Freo with Daniel Wells, Jamie Elliott and Tyson Goldsack all now set to spend some time on the sidelines. Levi Greenwood was also sore after the game and would be 50/50 chance for Monday. The Pies are a chance to regain James Aish and Alex Fasolo and would be desperate to regain them now that their side is looking a little light on for depth. Trav Varcoe and Ben Reid won't be back till after the bye.
Melbourne comes into this clash off a big second half win over the Suns a fortnight ago. The Demons are one of the hardest teams to predict this season. Their best is very good as their win over the Crows in Adelaide demonstrated but to often this season they have lost games they should have won. They're still a very young side and coach Simon Goodwin in his first season is still finding his feet. They haven't been dealt much luck with star forward Jesse Hogan missing most of the season and he looks unlikely to play here.
Not surprising the early money is for the Demons with the current line around 8.5 to 10.5. It wouldn't surprise me if this started higher with the Pies injury concerns. The Dees come into this game fresh having not played for 15 days. The Pies on the other hand come in on a high after a great win in Perth but very banged up and probably desperate for the bye to rest some sore bodies. Fresh legs could be a huge factor in this game.
Take the Demons minus now as it should start much higher and they should have to much quality for a Pies side that is going to badly miss Jamie Elliott up forward and the quality of Daniel Wells around the ground.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Grand Final +9 11 82% Finals Week Three -4.2 12 -35% Finals Week Two +0.42 11 4% Finals Week One +7.18 11 65% Round Twenty-Three -9.09 21 -43% Round Twenty-Two +9.47 16 59% Round Twenty-One +8.55 13 66% Round Twenty -8 17 -47% Round Nineteen -9.2 13 -71% Round Eighteen +3.01 15 20% Round Seventeen +9.88 16 62% Round Sixteen -4.05 15 -27% Round Fifteen +0.12 13 1% Round Fourteen -2.48 15 -17% Round Thirteen +1.93 5 39% Round Twelve -6.3 14 -45% Round Eleven -2.1 9 -23% Round Ten -5.26 10 -53% Round Nine +4 11 36% Round Eight +10.01 9 111% Round Seven -10.26 17 -60% Round Six -2.4 14 -17% Round Five -12.3 18 -68% Round Four -5.21 11 -47% Round Three -1.16 10 -12% Round Two -11 11 -100% Round One -0.27 6 -5% Total -29.71 345 -9%