Round 2 AFL Preview

 After a few months 'rest' due to the Covid-19 pandemic, footy is coming back to a telly near you, starting this Thursday night. With teams only being able to train together for a couple of weeks, it will be interesting to see how they all go in their first game back. Will players remember who is on their team? Will players be able to run out a match? We will soon find out!

Thursday
Collingwood vs Richmond @ The MCG - 19:40

In a game between last year's premiers, and a team that most footy 'experts' have in the Top 4, if not the Top 2 for this year, this should be a great start to Season 2020 Part II. While Richmond is looking like they will have a full list of players to select from, minus Houli, Collingwood will be missing one of their big ball-winners, Adam Treloar. Collingwood has a strong midfield and Treloar is one of the reasons. Without him, other players will need to step up. The Pies will also be without Cox, Reid and Langdon. While Richmond needs to find someone to stop DeGoey and Stephenson up forward, the Magpies need to find players to stop Riewoldt, Martin and Lynch.
Richmond by 3

Friday
Geelong vs Hawthorn @ GMHBA Stadium - 19:50

On Friday night in Geelong, the Cats will be playing host to a Hawthorn team that has picked up a couple of very handy players. One is Jonathon Patton from the Giants and the other is that pretty handy footballer Tom Mitchell. Okay, so Mitchell isn't a new player, but his huge layoff would have him as a very fit, experienced 'rookie'. As for the Cats, they have lost one of their best players from last season, Tim Kelly. After their five-goal Round 1 loss to the Giants in Sydney, the Cats will be looking to get this shortened season heading in a more positive direction.
Hawthorn by 13 points

Saturday
Brisbane vs Fremantle @ The Gabba - 13:45

For this game up at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon, we have two teams coming off a loss in their respective Round 1 matches. The Lions went down to the Hawks by nearly five goals, while the Dockers had the Bombers get past them by a single straight kick. As with all selections this round, I am going to go by last year's history, some hope and the flip of a coin when needed... With the Lions being one of the standout teams in 2019, while the Dockers weren't, I am going to stick with the home team to get the win in Round 2.
Brisbane by 27 points

Carlton vs Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium - 16:35

Our next game has Carlton playing Melbourne under the roof of Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon. We have another match where the teams are coming off a March loss. Both of these teams have expectations of a 'much better Season 2020', and this match could be one that kick-starts that for them. Both the Blues and the Demons have their strengths and weaknesses which should lead to a pretty hard-fought match, but the talent of Gawn and the shorter players around him should be enough to get them over the line.
Melbourne by 19 points

Gold Coast vs West Coast @ Metricon Stadium - 19:40

In a real 'top of the ladder versus bottom of the ladder' match on the Gold Coast this Saturday, the Suns will be looking to show that their win against the Eagles was no fluke; sure, it may have been Round 11, 2017 but it was still a win! Although West Coast didn't look brilliant in their victory over the Demons in Round 1, the Suns were made to look very pedestrian by the Power. While I'm going to be a bit conservative with the margin, this match has the potential to be a percentage booster for the Eagles unless things up north have considerably improved on 2019.
West Coast by 43 points

Port Adelaide vs Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval - 19:40

With the news Robbie Grey should be right for this fixture, the Port Adelaide team has a nice boost going up against traditional rivals, the Adelaide Crows on Saturday night. Adelaide used to be a pretty automatic pick in these contests, but the Power have started to bring the ledger back into balance, having split the last four matches two apiece with their cross-town opponents. As their final 2109 ladder positions show, these two teams are not only geographically close; the Power finished in 10th spot, while the Crows finished 11th. It is looking like another season of close rivalry between the two S.A. teams.
Port Adelaide by 16

Sunday
GWS Giants vs North Melbourne @ Giants Stadium - 13:05

While North Melbourne snuck home against the Saints by 2 points in March, the Giants had a 32-point win over Geelong up in Sydney. With this game also at home for the Giants, the Kangaroos will have to play their best for the full four-quarters to have any chance of overcoming a team that really should be looking to make amends for the trouncing they received in last year's Grand Final. Unless a nasty bout of gastro rips through the GWS team the day before this match, it is hard to see the Roos being able to find a way past them.
Giants by 29 points

Sydney vs Essendon @ The SCG - 15:35

In Round 1 this year the Swans headed to Adelaide and came away with a three-point win over the Crows, Essendon had a one-goal home win over the visiting Dockers. The big story in the lead up to this match isn't who will be playing, as much as it will be about who won't play! The Swans are looking like they will be without Franklin, Sam Reid or Ronke, and the Bombers will likely be without Daniher, Fantasia and Tipungwuti. Stringer has been put up as a probable but left their practice match on Saturday with a fair limp from a toe injury. While I usually go for the home team when in doubt, I reckon the Bombers can get the job done after a narrow loss in Sydney last season.
Bombers by 7 points

St. Kilda vs W. Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium - 18:05

At Marvel Stadium on Sunday we will see the rebuilding Saints come up against a Bulldogs team that finished the 2019 regular season as one of the best performing teams in the competition. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they came back to earth with a resounding thud in Round 1, suffering a 52-point loss to the Magpies. For St. Kilda, despite having a few more scoring shots than their opposition, they fell by two points to the Kangaroos. Both teams are very used to playing at Marvel, so I am going to go with the better team of 2019.
Bulldogs by 21

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