Round 21 AFL Preview

Friday
GWS Giants vs Hawthorn @ UNSW Canberra - 19:50

Our Friday night match-up takes us to... Canberra? (yep, that's what the fixture says!) where the 5th placed GWS Giants are at 'home' to a Hawthorn outfit that may have found themselves out of finals contention after their loss to the Kangaroos last weekend. The last time these two teams met it was at the MCG in Round 8, where the Hawks kept the Giants to one goal, four points for the entire second half of the match, a feat they will need to achieve again if they are to get past a Giants team that is very much still in the hunt for a Top 4 berth. Will the Hawks Mathew Walker get a promotion after kicking 9 goals from 12 attempts in the VFL, and what will the Giants do with Jeremy Cameron and Josh Kelly as they return from injury? If either is right for a call-up, it will be a big plus for their team!
GWS Giants by 25 points

Saturday
Melbourne vs Collingwood @ The MCG - 13:45

At the MCG on Saturday afternoon the Demons will take on the 6th placed Magpies who will be looking to get back into the Top 4 after their percentage-boosting win over the Suns last weekend. With the Demons having to win the inside ball, to have a chance at winning the match, in this contest they find themselves up against the No1 team for disposals per match for the competition. With their season done-and-dusted, the Demons only have pride, and the promise of next season, to play for whereas the Magpies need to start hitting their straps as they plan for a finals campaign. Unfortunately for Collingwood, their injury list would now be the longest in the league, with Mason Cox being added to it after a nasty poke in his eye last round.
Collingwood by 26

Port Adelaide vs Sydney @ Adelaide Oval - 14:10

With Port Adelaide on the cusp of a finals birth, they will be playing host to the 15th placed Sydney Swans at Adelaide Oval this Saturday afternoon. At the end of the day, if the Power loses this match they will struggle to get ahead of other teams and reach their goal of finals in 2019, and their fans will know this too! With Ollie Wines a good chance to be picked, and Charlie Dixon being better for the run last week the Power will be strong and when you add in the ruck dominance I am expecting them to have things are lining up for them. If this match was being played at the SCG, I would be putting my tip with the Swans, although they do have a great record of winning at Adelaide Oval over the years and the Power won the last two times they visited Sydney. That shouldn't be the way it works...!
Port Adelaide by 14

Brisbane vs Gold Coast @ The Gabba - 16:35

At the Gabba this Saturday one of the best performing teams, in the Brisbane Lions, will be meeting a team that is really struggling to finish the 2019 Season out with any level of positive play. On this topic, it is the Sun's co-captain, Jarrod Witts, 100th game, and in a season that hasn't had too many highlights for the team, there can be no doubting the stellar play of Witts throughout 2019! In some good thoughts for both teams... Lions fans, your team is heading into the finals as a Top 4 team, that may get even get to No 1 if the Cats keep faltering and the Eagles stumble. In something that could make this one to forget for the Suns, the Lions really could do with a big percentage booster, and even with Dayne Zorko a likely out, they have the personnel to make that happen!
Brisbane by 39

Essendon vs Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium - 19:25

Being another team that has a long injury list making it hard for them to play to their best, the Bombers will be hoping that Aaron Francis, Darcy Parish, and Dyson Heppell are all available to be selected for this match against the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium. In addition to their loss to 3rd placed Brisbane last weekend, the Bulldogs have also lost key play-maker Caleb Daniel to a hamstring strain that is looking likely to keep him out for a couple of weeks. Across their last five matches, all having been played at Marvel Stadium, the Bulldogs have come away with four wins. While McKernan will be back to bolster the Bombers forward line, they have lost Guelfi and the rebounding of Saad for this match, and when you add-in the quality of the Bulldogs midfield, I think this match-up will suit the Doggies well again.
Western Bulldogs by 17

Geelong vs North Melbourne @ GMHBA Stadium - 19:25

On Saturday night, GMHBA plays host to Geelong and North Melbourne in a match that has recently become one that is a lot more interesting, and harder to pick, than it was a few weeks ago. While Geelong only lost a single match across the first 10 rounds, they have lost three of their past five! For the Kangaroos, they have had some tough games of late, having lost to the Bombers, Lions, and Eagles, but they bounced back last weekend with a good win over Hawthorn. To find a match where North Melbourne has beaten Geelong you have to go back to 2015, a season where the Roos won both match-ups against the Cats. While Brandan Parfitt is listed as injured along with Gary Rohan, the Cats have a very full team to select from, and down at GMHBA their knowledge of the ground will help them get past a Geelong team in need of the win.
Geelong by 15

Sunday
St. Kilda vs Fremantle @ Marvel Stadium - 13:10

At Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the Saints will come up against a Docker's team that would have had their fans in raptures after, just the week before, they managed to pull off an inspiring win against the ladder-leading Cats. On the other side of the ground, the Saints have only won two of their past five matches, with those wins coming against the Bulldogs and Demons and they will be hoping that Dan Hannebery will be able to re-join his new team after a frustrating run of injuries, and after a good showing in the VFL, Jack Steven would have to be a good chance for a recall. The Dockers two games at Marvel Stadium this year, one against the Bombers and the other against the Bulldogs, resulted in two losses but after their great showing last week, they would feel they have a great chance at adding a much-needed win in this match.
St Kilda by 7

Richmond vs Carlton @ The MCG - 15:20

On Sunday afternoon the MCG hosts a match between the consistently good Tigers and the greatly improved Blues. Across their last ten fixtures, the Tigers have won eight, with you having to go back to 2013 for the last time the Blues got a win. The Tigers are currently on a six-match winning streak where they have accounted for the likes of the Giants, Power, and the Magpies. With the Blues a chance to get the quality Matthew Kreuzer and Mitch McGovern back, their team looks a lot stronger than the team that lost to the Eagles by 24 points last round. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers can keep their momentum going, securing themselves a Top 4 finish, or if the Blues will finish the season off strongly and springboard into 2019. With so much on the line for Richmond, I can't see them letting this one go Carlton's way.
Tigers by 13

West Coast vs Adelaide @ Optus Stadium - 16:40

The West Coast Eagles will play hosts to the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium this Sunday in a match that is very important for both teams; for the Eagles to finish in the Top 2, they have to win all of their remaining games, and for the Crows the same winning needs go for them to stay in the Top 8. As both teams have others breathing down their necks, it should make for an entertaining contest! The Crow's Alex Keath and Eddie Betts are expected to be right to face West Coast, while Kyle Hartigan will have to pass a fitness test on Thursday. For the Eagles, it is looking like a more settled line-up, with only Jamie Cripps being looked at as an inclusion for this match. In their last meeting in Round 10, the Eagles beat the Crows in Adelaide by 12 points.
West Coast by 19

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