Round 12 AFL Preview

Friday
Richmond vs Geelong @ The MCG - 19:50

Round 12 kicks off with a match that had the promise of being a good contest, but after Richmond's capitulation to the Kangaroos last round, I'm not so sure anymore. Geelong have really perfected the best system for them this year, and are sitting on top of the AFL ladder as deserved leaders! As for the Tigers, they were very poor last round and copped a deserved belting by the Roos. If they are to stand any chance in this match, they will need to do, well, pretty much everything better, and against the Cats, that won't be easy! It will be interesting to see if Richmond's Sydney Stack (being a cult hero can be hard work!) goes to play on GAblett and, if so, how he goes about curtailing the huge influence Ablett can have on a game.
Geelong by 28

Saturday
Carlton vs Brisbane @ Marvel Stadium - 13:45

Well, I had the Blues as my "smokey" for last round but they managed to barely get out of bed in time for the match, and stank it up for most of the four quarters. On the other side of the coin, the Lions were back home last weekend and celebrated by having a win over a quality opponent in Hawthorn. While Carlton's ruckman, Matthew Kreuzer, had a better game last week and seems to be building after coming back from injury, the Lions are showing some really positive signs as we head into the back-half of Season 2019.
Even with an expected "our coach was just fired because we have been playing so badly" bounce, I expect the Lions to be too fast and too tall for a Carlton outfit wanting to show the football world they "aren't that bad!"
Brisbane by 19

Gold Coast vs North Melbourne @ Metricon Stadium - 16:35

Over the past two seasons these teams have split their four games based on where it was played, with wins going to the home team in all of these matches, but this is a new season and these teams are at very different stages of development; a young Gold Coast has lost its last seven matches, while North Melbourne has shown some solid improvement recently, beating the Bulldogs and Richmond over the last two weeks.
While Jarrad Witts will provide a better contest for North's Goldstein, I think the Kangaroos are on a mission and will be too strong for their Suns opponents.
North Melbourne by 22

Adelaide vs GWS Giants @ Adelaide Oval - 19:40

Before their two games last season, Adelaide has had the wood on the Giants, only losing one match to GWS going back to the Giant's inception, but this is 2019 and the Giants have started playing some high-quality football while the Crows have been struggling for form and consistency. While the Crow's midfield is strong, they will be sweating on Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane coming up for this match, as the Giants have a group of players who are finally coming together to form a, you know, team.
While the Giants certainly perform better at home, they won at Adelaide Oval just last year, so it shouldn't hold any problems for them to continue on their winning ways.
GWS Giants by 28

Sunday
Sydney vs West Coast @ The SCG - 15:20

In a surprise for me, I have learned that the Swans beat West Coast both times these teams met last season, once in Sydney and once over in Perth and across the past decade the Eagles have only managed to beat the Swans three times! As one more interesting stat for you, the last time the Eagles won in Sydney was 2007. Ouch! So, while I had this match locked in as a comfortable win for West Coast, I am not sure if it is that simple a decision any more...
Looking at form, venue, ladder position and injuries (Josh Kennedy for the Swans and Shannon Hurn for the Eagles) the teams split the important Pillars of Tipping two to the Eagles, one for the Swans along with a draw.
West Coast by 11

Monday
Collingwood vs Melbourne @ The MCG - 15:20

Third-placed Collingwood take on sixteenth placed Melbourne at the MCG on the Queen's Birthday holiday this round, to wrap up a shortened weekend of football, and the main question I find myself asking is "will Brodie Grundy play and, if so, how much will his troublesome ankle impact his ability to perform against the premier ruckman so far in 2019?" It's a big question about a big man in a big match at a big ground, ummm... in a big city, and that is without touching on if Mason Cox will step out for the Pies.
While both teams are coming off very close losses, across the season the Magpies have been the far superior team, and I'd expect them to notch another win here to stay in the top four of the ladder.
Collingwood by 17

Byes: Essendon, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, St. Kilda, Western Bulldogs.

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