Round 16 AFL Preview

Friday
Hawthorn vs Collingwood @ The MCG - 19:50

Going back over the past half a decade of contests between these two teams, it is pretty easy to see that Hawthorn has had the wood over Collingwood for all that time and more. Over those seven matches, Collingwood has only won one; I sense a "boogie team" here...
When you add in last weeks performances, where Collingwood were absolutely belted by North Melbourne and Hawthorn put up a great fight against West Coast, only getting overtaken in the final minutes of their match, this game could be a very close contest that goes either way.
Based on current intent, injuries and Collingwood's problems with getting a win against the Hawks, I'm going to give the nod to Hawthorn keeping their superiority of the Magpies intact.
Hawthorn by 9 points

Saturday
Essendon vs Sydney @ The MCG - 13:45

In Saturday's first game, we have the Essendon Bombers playing host to the Sydney Swans at the MCG, and after last weekend's results, this has the making of being a very interesting contest between two teams who find themselves sitting just outside the Top 8. The Bombers will be backing up from their inspiring win over the favoured Giants last round; a game that could be the making of the Bomber backline for the rest of 2019. Sydney's last game was at home, where the accounted for the bottom-placed Gold Coast Suns without much to be concerned about. While the Swans will miss Callum Sinclair, who is out with a shoulder injury, this will be balanced out by the Bombers missing key ruckman Tom Bellchambers, so the result will come down to the midfield where the Swans have strength and the Bombers have speed.
Essendon by 11 points

Gold Coast vs Richmond @ Metricon Stadium - 14:10

Up at the Gold Coast this weekend, we find the Suns taking on the Richmond Tigers at Metricon Stadium. The Tigers are coming off a solid win against a fast-starting St Kilda outfit in a game where Richmond welcomed back a number of "best 22" players who had been on the sidelines for a number of weeks. The Suns are back from their unrewarding trip to the SCG where they fell to the Swans. While both teams have a "win" with this game, The Suns as they are playing at their home ground and the Tigers as they get to leave Victoria for a short-break of warmer weather, it will be the Tigers who get the win...win, that they need to stay that little bit ahead-of-the-pack on the AFL ladder.
Richmond by 29 points

Adelaide vs Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval - 16:35

In the first of the traditional rivalry matches of the round, we find the Adelaide Crows playing host to the Port Adelaide Power at Adelaide Oval this Saturday and, as per usual, it should be a game filled with high levels of intent, aggression and a dash of spite! Last weekend the Crows really took the game up to the ladder-leading Geelong Cats (down in Geelong) for 3/4 of the match, whereas the Power only managed to kick five goals against an impressive Bulldogs team. Taking into account that Adelaide has won seven of the past ten matches between these two teams, and that they have a settled outfit playing well, whereas I am expecting a number of changes for the Power, I can't go past the Crows to win this match.
Adelaide by 13 points

Western Bulldogs vs Geelong @ Marvel Stadium - 19:25

At Marvel Stadium this Saturday night, the Western Bulldogs will be hoping to carry through their good form when taking on the ladder-leading Geelong Cats.
In a harsh blow to the Bulldogs hopes, they will be without star playmaker Caleb Daniel for this game and the next month, while Jason Johannisen will have his injured leg monitored during the week but may also miss. For the Cats, they played a great second half last week to run away from a dogged Adelaide Crows team. Unfortunately, for the Cats, one of their star players, Patrick Dangerfield, looks a chance to miss this match after a solid bump last round. As both teams have an important out, the ledger stays pretty even and, in current form, it is hard to go past the Cats.
Geelong by 17 points

Fremantle vs West Coast @ Optus Stadium - 20:10

For our last game of Saturday, we have our second "traditional rivals" match, with the Fremantle Dockers hosting their northern neighbours, the West Coast Eagles, on the expanses of Optus Stadium. After a big scare by the Hawks last round, the West Coast Eagles have come through the match unscathed, and have the huge added plus of the returning Nic Natanui getting a solid game under his belt for his comeback. For the Dockers, they let an undermanned Carlton outfit snatch the lead in the final minutes of the match, a lead Fremantle had enjoyed for the previous 90% of the match.
When adding in that the Eagles have won the previous eight matches between these two teams, I am expecting them to have too much quality across too many lines.
West Coast by 19

Sunday
Carlton vs Melbourne @ The MCG - 13:10

In a match that pits the second-last team on the AFL ladder against the team sitting in third-last spot, we have the Carlton Blues coming up against the Melbourne Demons at the MCG on Sunday afternoon, and after their last-minute win over the Dockers in Round 15, the Blues should be feeling very confident about their chances against the team who sits one place above them on the ladder.
Besides Max Gawn twisting his ankle last weekend, the Melbourne coach expects him to be fine for this match (but will he?), the Demons made it through well on the injury front. On the other hand, the Blues will be hoping some of last week's "outs" will be back to shore up the team, as without them this will be a hard match to win. Will any of Patrick Cripps, Harry McKay or Charlie Curnow be available for this match and what about the Demon's Max Gawn...?
Carlton by 7

North Melbourne vs St. Kilda @ Blundstone Arena - 15:20

As strange as it sounds to say it, for this match we have one of the competition's form teams (the Kangaroos) coming up against a team that started the season so well but has been on a downward slide over the past couple of months (the Saints). The Kangaroos were just terrific against the Magpies last round, where they ended up more than doubling the score of Collingwood. On the other side of the coin, the Saints burst out of the gates, in their match against the Tigers, but couldn't maintain the intensity, going down by 33 points to Richmond. While it is looking that the North Melbourne players have found some good cohesion, the Saints are missing some key players and are working hard to not fall too far down the ladder's pecking order.
Kangaroos by 34

GWS Giants vs Brisbane @ Sydney Showgrounds - 16:40

At the Sydney Showgrounds this Sunday afternoon, the GWS Giants will be hoping they get to welcome Lachie Whitfield back into the team as they take on a much improved Brisbane Lions team who will likely be missing the tall Oscar McInerney after he suffered a concussion when playing the Demons last weekend. After their poor performance against the Bombers last round, the Giants have dropped back to being in the "race for a top-four spot", where they were fighting it out for a top-two finish to the season. The Lions have been a surprise packet this season but certainly haven't performed as well away from home as they do when playing at it, and will struggle against a team that should be out to prove they aren't the Dr Jeckle Mr Hyde of the footy world.
GWS Giants by 27

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