Round 9 AFL Preview

Friday
West Coast vs Melbourne @ Optus Stadium - 20:10

This week the Melbourne Demons travel to Perth for their matchup against the West Coast Eagles, and while most pundits have written off the Demon's chances, I think it will be a closer game than expected.
Last round the Eagles got a win in Melbourne against St Kilda, but the Saints certainly ensured that the Eagles had to work for it. After their last-gasp one-point victory over the Suns at Metricon, the Demons should be feeling pretty good about the world but how will this impact them moving forward? Will they now believe they are world beaters or, more realistically, that they can win a game of footy?
While Melbourne's strength is their midfield, the same can be said for West Coast. The Eagles have the advantage of some quality big forwards to go with a well-drilled backline, and at home they have to be favourites, probably be a decent amount.
West Coast by 29

Saturday
Collingwood vs St. Kilda @ The MCG - 13:45

Well, didn't Collingwood get a scare last week; only managing to kick away from Carlton in the last quarter? While I believe this was in part due to Carlton playing a much better game, I think the main reason was due to the Pie's believing they didn't need to do much to win. When they found themselves behind at three-quarter time they woke up and did what was needed to get the win.
While the Saints are playing a good style of footy this year, which saw them briefly sit in top spot on the ladder, their lack of a 'match winner' or two, say a Pendlebury and Grundy, and some unfortunate absences, has seen them slide down the ladder from their exciting start to the year. This game should be more of the same for both sides!
Collingwood by 26

Brisbane vs Adelaide @ The Gabba - 14:10

Now that Brisbane is back home at the Gabba, I am expecting to see a better performance from them against the improved Adelaide this round. The Lion's young brigade is really starting to find their straps, with McLuggage being one of the best players from the loss to the Bulldogs in Ballarat last weekend. For the Crows, they got the win against cross-town rival Port Power in Round 8 and will be looking to get their eighth straight win against Brisbane; the last time the Lions had a win aginst the Crows was way back in 2012.
While both teams match-up well, we need to balance up injuries, form, history and venue, and on this front, the Crows tick 2/3 of the boxes with a tie on injuries.
Adelaide by 14

Geelong vs Western Bulldogs @ GMHBA Stadium - 16:35

This game finds the Cats playing the Dogs down in Geelong on Saturday afternoon in what could be considered another offering to the footy gods of the Bellarine Peninsula. Even with the Bulldogs finding some good form, and better consistency, of late, they are coming up against the most formidable team in the competition at this stage of the 2019 AFL Season.
Looking back at the last times these two teams have met, I can see that the Bulldogs have only won one match in the past decade. Fortunately, for them, that game was when these two teams met just last year, which should give them some positivity going into this match. Unfortunately, I think that positivity will only make it to the first half of the third quarter.
Geelong by 31

Essendon vs Fremantle @ Marvel Stadium - 19:25

In a match between two teams that have shown patches of brilliance, but more patches of 'ordinary...ness' the key indicator, as to who may come out on top, has come down to the AFL's inconsistent MRP's thinking that the Docker's Fyfe's elbow strike to the head of Richmond's Tom Lynch was not worth worrying about. Really?
With McDonald-Tipungwuti having gone off the boil, after a great start to the season, the Bombers forwards have been really disappointing across these last few games, and they now have to cover for the missing Orazio Fantasia (he was the leading goal kicker on the ground last week, with four majors) who has been ruled out with an injured quadricep. In a potential big plus for the Bombers, key-forward Joe Daniher is a chance to get back in the side for this clash. If he comes up, it will certainly have a big impact on his teammates and the game!
An interesting stat on this game... Over the last ten times these two teams have met, only two have been home-games for the Bombers at The Venue Known as Marvel Stadium. From those two games, the Bombers have a 100% win rate. While I was going to go with Fremantle for the win, this stat has me jumping on the Bomber Bandwagon. Nervously!
Essendon by 5

North Melbourne vs Sydney @ Blundstone Arena - 19:25

Saturday evening will see North Melbourne and Sydney head to Hobart for their Round 9 match-up, and while these two teams split their matches last season, the Swans have definitely had the wood over the Roos for the majority of the '00s.
In some good news for the Shinboners, they are expecting to have two important defenders available for this match, with Scott Thompson having recovered from a groin injury and Marley Williams likely to be ready to resume his footy duties, after some time away for family reasons. There is no doubt that these inclusions will help the team be more balanced, with players in positions they are best suited to.
While that great yacht race goes from Sydney to Hobart, I think the Kangaroos are better suited to the ground and will (see. Should!) be super hungry to get this win, leaving the Swans stranded in a patch of still air. If that doesn't fill the Kangaroo's sails, I don't know what will.
Kangaroos by 17

Sunday
Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast @ Adelaide Oval - 13:10

Port Adelaide is hoping that talented forward Robbie Gray will make his comeback from a hand injury earlier than expected this week, and while he isn't the tall marking forward they need, he is a great addition to the team. For the Suns, a few more youngsters put in a strong performance at NEAFL level last round to put their hand up for selection. After their quality game Will Brodie, Jesse Joyce and Ben King should all come into consideration from the club's selection panel.
While the Suns have shown progress and promise this season, the Power at home should be able to match their run, and stop them in defence enough to ensure a win.
Port Adelaide by 27

Richmond vs Hawthorn @ The MCG - 15:20

I think the Sunday game at the G this week is shaping up as the game of the round, as a surprisingly in-form Tigers come up against the team that sent the GWS Giants back to Sydney with their tails firmly between their legs last round. This encounter will be a battle between the Tiger's unrelenting pressure game and the Hawk's well drilled-in skills.
While both teams play the MCG well, and often, the last three times these teams have met, it has resulted in a Tiger win, but can they get another win with half the team in a hospital ward?
Look for Ben McEvoy to have a huge game, whith O'Meara providing great run through the middle. The Tigers will need to contain these players, and make the most of their scoring chances to get the win.
Richmond by 15

GWS Giants vs Carlton @ Sydney Showgrounds - 16:40

There are thirteen teams between the Giants and Blues on the AFL ladder at this point of the season, and unless the script gets torn up, shredded and then thrown into the fire under a spit-roast, GWS should come out on top in this contest. However... This season has thrown up at least one upset each and every round and, if the Giants go into this game thinking about how easy it going to be to get the win, anything could happen!
After their last game GWS needed to get back home, and should be feeling better in familiar surrounds for their Round 9 match. Getting Whitfield back will also be a huge boost for them!
With the game being at the Sydney Showgrounds, if things don't go well for either team, they could go and watch some cattle dogs perform, or perhaps try their hand at milking a cow.
Giants by 22

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