Round 7 AFL Preview

Friday
Collingwood vs Port Adelaide @ Marvel Stadium - 19:50

While I have no idea why Collingwood has a home game at Marvel Stadium (it makes as little sense as Richmond playing home games at Marvel),  they are hosting the in-form South Australian 'ex-Magpies' this coming weekend. As both teams had good wins on the weekend, this should be a pretty good contest. Since both side's strength lies in their respective midfield, the middle will be where this game is won or not and on this front, the Magpies have a slight advantage. When you add in one of the AFL's premier ruckman to the Pie's mix, being Brodie Grundy, their midfield should get first use of the ball more often than not. Up forward the Power have lost Robbie Gray to injury, while the Pies forward unit remains intact. For the Collingwood fans to have a good Friday night, their forwards had better wake up a lot sooner than they did when playing against the Bombers!
While Port Adelaide was good against the Roos, Collingwood was better, coming out on top against a determined Essendon.
Collingwood by 22

Saturday
Melbourne vs Hawthorn @ The MCG - 13:45

Wow, Melbourne is now 1 & 5 and sitting at the very bottom of the AFL ladder after 6 rounds. Their opponents in this game have fared much better, and are sitting on 3 & 3 and are in 11th place on the ladder.
Melbourne had real trouble finding a way to goal again last round and ended up with a total score of 42 points, that isn't much of a score for a team that has so much talent on paper, but then the Tigers really ramped up the pressure, starting to get back to their 2017 form.
Jack Viney is currently listed as being in doubt for this match after he came off second best after a hip-and-shoulder from Tiger young gun Sydney Stack, and Alex Neal-Bullen had trouble with a corkie. The Hawks will be very happy to have had no further injuries from their game last week although young midfielder, James Cousins, has copped a one-match suspension for his strike on Petrevski-Seton.
With Melbourne's confidence so shot, and Jaeger O'Meara blossoming, I am going to lean towards the brown and yellow but this could be Melbourne's 'breaking the drought game'...
Hawthorn by 16

GWS Giants vs St. Kilda @ UNSW Canberra - 13:45

With help from their huge last quarter against the Swans last round, the Giants have moved to 4th place on the ladder, while St Kilda has dropped down to a respectable 6th place; while not as impressive as sitting top, it is still a great start by the Saints.
Last week Saint's mature recruit Parker showed that he probably should have been playing AFL for a while now with 3 goals. It is always great to see a player finally get their chance to live their dream of playing AFL at the highest level. For GWS, their midfield really took a stranglehold on the last third of their match last week, resulting in a comfortable 41 point win over Sydney.
While they lost the last time they played at UNSW, after their final 35 minutes last week it is hard to go past the Giants in this match, so I won't!
Giants by 28

Brisbane vs Sydney @ The Gabba - 16:35

Who knows what Sydney could have done last week with Franklin in, fortunately for the Swans, it is looking like their spearhead will be back for their next match up at the Gabba. With both teams being surprise packets in 2019; Sydney due to their poor start to the season and the Lions for the exact opposite reason, this is shaping up as an intriguing contest. Will the open, fast-moving style of the Lions be able to work against the 'let's make everything a contested (see, scrum) situation' Swans?
The fast running Lions are at home and, along with their bevy of early draft picks who are starting to find their feet, boom recruit Neale is on fire through the middle. I think the greatly improved Lions to be too much for an underperforming Sydney outfit looking to find some rhythm in 2019.
Brisbane by 14

Western Bulldogs vs Richmond @ Marvel Stadium - 19:25

The Bulldogs have disappointed their fans over the last few rounds, having lost to the Suns, Collingwood, Carlton, and Fremantle in their last four games. Across the same games, Richmond has lost to the Giants but then gone on to beat Port Adelaide, Sydney and then Melbourne last week.
For the Bulldogs, the experienced Bontompelli and McRae have been standing up strong for their club, where the Tigers positive results have largely come on the back of their unheralded recruits Jack Ross, Sydney Stack, Liam Baker, and Noah Balta. All of these Tigers have been playing important roles for the injury suffering Tigers. On the topic of injury, it looks like Richmond will be without Jack Riewoldt again for this match after he suffered a knee injury in the game against the Demons.
How will Tom Lynch pull up after the two games in quick succession? Will Martin show off some more Brownlow Medal year form, or go back to his first few games of the season and will the Tigers have an answer to the impact Bontompelli can bring to a game of footy? We'll find out in just a few days time.
Richmond by 28

West Coast vs Gold Coast @ Optus Stadium - 20:10

Both of the 'Coasters' copped serious beltings last weekend and, surprisingly, it was the Eagles who lost by the greater margin! Having said that, when you take into account that West Coast was playing the in-form Cats, down at Geelong, their loss, while a big one, probably represents the one that would be less worrying for their coaching staff. On the other hand, Gold Coast was completely run over by the Lions in the second half of their game on the Gold Coast. By the end of the match, the Suns had won only two key stats; they had 3 more hit-outs than the Lions and one more interchange. Two things they can definitely take into this upcoming match!
West Coast, at home and looking to show the football world that the wheels haven't fallen off. It could get messy!
West Coast by 38

Sunday
Carlton vs North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium - 13:10

Both teams had disappointing losses last week; with North Melbourne falling behind Port Adelaide and being unable to catch up, and Carlton getting out to a solid 6 goal lead only to let the Hawks run over the top of them. Out of these two club's fans, I reckon those of Carlton would be feeling the worse for their team's capitulation last round.
Both teams have some injury concerns that will have a big impact on the game. Carlton's Charlie Curnow was a late withdrawal from the match, while Kade Simpson missed the important last quarter with hamstring 'tightness'. Will either of them line-up for this match? For the Roos, defender Luke McDonald went off with a knee injury but did come back on later in the game; when coming back on he didn't look at all 100% and is a chance to miss this game.
As this will be the third game at Marvel Stadium for the weekend, I hope the surface holds up better than it has over other busy weekends.
Gee, in a matchup of two teams lacking confidence, this is a real toss-of-the-coin selection... Heads it is!
Carlton by 11

Geelong vs Essendon @ The MCG - 15:20

The MCG is hosting another quality game this coming Sunday, as the Cats meet the Bombers in the pick of the matches in Victoria this weekend. Both of these teams are playing high-quality football that will have their fans excited about their chances of making a push for the big match in Season 2019.
Last weekend Geelong managed to absolutely demolish last year's premiers, while Essendon narrowly went down to Collingwood. Unfortunately, for Essendon, they have lost forward Mitch Brown to a nasty broken wrist (aren't they all...?) while the club's medicos are hoping that their reigning B&F, Devon Smith, will be right for this encounter after coming off with knee issues that kept him out of the action in the 4th quarter. In great news for the Cats, it looks like they came out of their game with no new injuries.
In a tough selection, I am going to go with the Cat's solid structures and winning ways.
Geelong by 10

Adelaide vs Fremantle @ Adelaide Oval - 16:40

We have two teams who are playing quality football meet in what should be a ripper of a game in Adelaide this Sunday; Adelaide bounced back into the winners list with a five-goal win over St Kilda and the Dockers celebrated David Mundy's 300th in style with a solid win over the Bulldogs in Perth.
While Eddie Betts was well held by the Saint's defense, Taylor Walker woke from his slumber (aren't you supposed to hibernate through winter?) to have his best game of the season and, with the Rorys and Crouches, they were too much for the Saints to stop. For the Dockers, Brandon Matera again showed why he is becoming one of the most talked about players in the AFL with a five-goal haul. Since coming into the Dockers team in Round 3, Matera has kicked 12 goals from the four games. A solid effort and reason for the Docker's stocks rising as they are.
If this game was in Perth I would be leaning towards the Dockers, but in Adelaide, I am going to have to stick with the home team in a great contest.
Adelaide by 7

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