Round 19 AFL Preview

Friday
Collingwood vs Richmond @ The MCG - 19:50

With only percentage separating the two teams in this match, Friday night's game at the G sees arch-rivals Collingwood take on a resurgent Richmond who are going for their fifth win in a row. While Collingwood had a memorable win over West Coast two weeks ago, they fell to the GWS in a manner that would have been disappointing to the players, coaches and fans, but on this Friday night, they have the chance to remedy that performance on the biggest stage there is! The Tigers are coming off a solid win against the Power last weekend and will be looking to keep their push for a top-four berth, and a home final, on track. Even with Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch finally getting to play together, along with the rest of the team having the chance to string games together, beating a quality Magpies team will be no easy task!
Richmond by 15 points

Saturday
Hawthorn vs Brisbane @ UTAS Stadium - 13:45

At their home-away-from-home of UTAS Stadium, where it is forecast for Saturday is 1c to 13c, the Hawks become an even formidable match-up for the Lions. As Brisbane temperatures are expected to be in the mid-twenties for the lead-up to this match, it will be interesting to see how early the Lions head to Tasmania for some climate acclimation. While the Lions did well to beat the Kangaroos last week, the score was tied with just a couple of minutes to go, the Hawks put in a brilliant performance to beat the league-leading Geelong by 24 points at the MCG, and with their ability to plan for the opposition, and being at UTAS, I can't help but lean in their favour for this match.
Hawthorn by 11 points

Carlton vs Adelaide @ The MCG - 14:10

The greatly improved Carlton will be hoping to get their third win in a row, (sorry but no, I'm not going to look up how long it has been since the Blues managed this achievement! :) when they come up against the 'Jeckle & Hyde' Adelaide Crows at the MCG this Saturday. In a match that most would have pencilled in as an easy Crows win, may be looking at this game as one that has a reasonable chance of an upset. Do the poor performances by Tex Walker (will need to pass a test on his elbow) and Eddie Betts signal it is time the Crows starting looking for replacements, and have Carlton improved enough to be able to put up any opposition to a side that can perform as well as the Crows can? This should be a very interesting game, and one that will tell us a lot about where both teams are at for the home-stretch of Season 2019.
Carlton by 5 points

West Coast vs North Melbourne @ Optus Stadium - 16:35

At Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon the West Coast Eagles play hosts to the travelling Kangaroos. In a match that sees the Eagles needing to pick-up their game to stay in the Top 4. After they scraped past the Demons by 13 points last round, the Eagles have shown that they are susceptible to oppositions that have midfielders who apply good pressure and are hard at the ball, all things that you can say about the Roos! Unfortunately for the Kangaroos, it looks like they will be missing another key back, this time Scott Thompson, after he suffered what would have been a very painful 'low blow' last week. I think the Eagle's key forwards will stretch the Roos defence and enable them to get more goals on the board. For North Melbourne, Ben Brown's likely battle with Barrass will be a great contest.
West Coast by 22 points

St. Kilda vs Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium - 19:25

At Marvel Stadium on Saturday night, we have two teams who performed really well in their respective matches last weekend; where St Kilda took care of the Bulldogs by a solid 27 points and Melbourne came very close to getting a win over the 3rd placed Eagles, going down by 13 points. Will St Kilda's new coach, Brett Ratten, be able to keep his team performing well after their initial 'new coach' uplift? For a Melbourne team that will be missing midfield star Jack Viney, they will need to make doubly sure they convert more of their scoring opportunities; last round the Demons kicked more 'scores' than the Eagles, 23 to 21, but as 12 of them were points they still fell to their opponents. They simply can't keep letting other teams get a win due to such poor goal conversion!
Melbourne by 12 points

Port Adelaide vs GWS Giants @ Adelaide Oval - 19:40

This Saturday at Adelaide Oval, Port Adelaide will look to get back on the winner's list when they take on the GWS Giants at home, and with a Top 8 finish still a real possibility, the Power should be switched on (don't you love a good pun!) right from the get-go. Standing in their way will be a Giant team who is coming off the back of giving the Magpies a 47 point stomping last round, a match where young midfield star Tim Taranto finished with 31 Disposals, 5 Marks and 14 Tackles. Just as the Giants will need to be wary of the quality of the Power's midfield brigade, so to will the Power need to keep a close eye on the likes of Taranto, Whitfield and Co. With GWS ranking first for kicks, marks and points per game, I can't see the Power bring them down to size in this match.
GWS Giants by 18 points

Sunday
Western Bulldogs vs Fremantle @ Marvel Stadium - 13:10

In our first Sunday afternoon match this week, the Western Bulldogs will play host to the visiting Fremantle Dockers at Marvel Stadium. As they now find themselves in twelfth spot on the ladder, on 8 wins and 9 losses, with three other teams, the Bulldogs simply can't let even a single game not be a win for them to even have a chance at making the finals in 2019. Fremantle is one of the teams on the same number of wins as the Doggies, so the above 'you must win every game' mantra applies equally to them. Even after their thrilling one-point win over the Swans last round, I don't think the Dockers will be able to match the Bulldogs in the middle or play Marvel Stadium as well as the Doggies can.
Western Bulldogs by 17 points

Sydney vs Geelong @ The SCG - 15:20

At the SCG this Sunday afternoon, Geelong heads north to face a team that has a good record against them, in the Swans. Unfortunately for the home team, most of their recent wins against the Cats have come at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, and with Sydney still missing both their first and second rucks, Geelong's Rhys Stanley will have an easier week of things, unlike how he has come off second best across the past few matches. While Sydney is ranked in the Top 5 for many areas that restrict their opponent's ball movement eg. Opponent Marks, Disposals and Goal Assists, the Cats are ranked as well for them and more! As GMHBA is also a smaller ground, playing at the SCG won't cause the same headaches for the Cats that it often does for visiting teams.
Geelong by 20 points

Gold Coast vs Essendon @ Metricon Stadium - 16:40

Even with Orazio Fantasia and Dyson Heppell possible Bomber 'outs' for this match, you can't help but immediately lean towards making them your tip for this game against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium on Sunday afternoon; over their current four-match win streak, Essendon has beaten the Crows, Kangaroos, Swans and Giants. A pretty impressive list of wins right there! Even with the likely Bomber outs, and Jarrod Witts' ruck dominance, I can't see the Suns having their act together enough to get a much-needed win over a Bomber outfit that is starting to gel. As an 'interesting stat' for you today, the last time the Suns beat the Bombers they had Tom Lynch as their forward, and he kicked a handy four goals for them in that match.
Essendon by 29 points

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