Round 9 AFL Preview
WednesdayW. Bulldogs vs Richmond @ Metricon Stadium - 19:10
In a battle of two Melbourne teams on Queensland's Gold Coast, we see the Western Bulldogs playing host to the Richmond Tigers in a match that both teams need to win if they are to keep their place in the Top 8 as we begin the second half of the 2020 season. Coming off their narrow win over the Suns last week, the Bulldogs will certainly be starting as favourites, especially after the Tiger's poor showing in their match against the Giants. The Tiger mids will have their hands full, while the Doggie's forwards will need to work especially hard to get away from a quality Richmond backline.
Bulldogs by 9 points
Carlton vs Hawthorn @ Optus Stadium - 17:40
On Thursday night at Optus Stadium, we have two teams on very different trajectories when a resurgent Blues play host to a struggling Hawthorn outfit that has lost its last four matches with barely a whimper. A hurdle the Blues will need to face for this match is the possibility of being without key talls McGovern and McKay, who add to an already lengthy injury list. For the Hawks, it is looking like S. Burgoyne may get looked at for his "overly rough" tackle on Sydney's Rowbottom. At the start of the year, I would have marked this one down as an easy win for the Hawks, but now it isn't so easy!
Carlton by 11 points
Melbourne vs Port Adelaide @ The Gabba - 20:10
When Melbourne plays Port Adelaide at the Gabba this Thursday night, we will see two teams who are a). Coming off a loss last round and b). Playing good footy. Even though they are still sitting atop the ladder, the Power have now lost two of their last four matches and showed that if their forward line isn't working smoothly, they are vulnerable. For Melbourne, even though the wins haven't been as plentiful as they would like, they have been playing much better footy over the past few weeks, with their last match resulting in a very tight four-point loss to the second-placed Lions. This is looking like a close one, so yes, the coin is coming out, and it's heads.
Melbourne by 4 points
Essendon vs Brisbane @ Metricon Stadium - 19:50
At Metricon Stadium on Friday night, two teams coming off very narrow wins will meet when seventh-placed Essendon comes up against the second-placed Brisbane Lions. While the Bombers were lucky that their opponents missed a number of goal-scoring opportunities last round, they worked hard around the contest and did well to win a good amount of ball. They will need to do much more of the same if they are to get past Brisbane. The Lions have now won four of their last five matches, and will be glad to see the back of Max Gawn! While the Bombers are playing good footy, they haven't played a team of this quality for a while.
Brisbane by 26 points
North Melbourne vs Adelaide @ Metricon Stadium - 14:35
North Melbourne will come up against a travelling Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a match of two teams who are really struggling for any semblance of form since the 2020 Season's re-start. Last round the Kangaroos lost a close match to the Blues, while the Crows narrowly went down to the Bombers in Adelaide. Some good news for the Kangaroos is that they didn't suffer any more injuries in their match. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Adelaide, who look like they will be without ball-magnet B. Crouch and maybe important defender T. Doedee. It will also be interesting to see if the Kanga's get any of their key mids back for this one? In another tough one to pick, I am going with Adelaide being due a win.
Adelaide by 5 points
St. Kilda vs Sydney @ The Gabba - 17:10
At the Gabba on Saturday night a surging St Kilda will take on a Sydney team who held Hawthorn to 53-points last week. The Saints will very much be up-and-about after their great win over the Port Power, who was atop the AFL ladder at the time, which moved them into the Top 4. As Sydney is lacking talls, through injury, I think the Sainters will be in with a great chance to make it three wins on the trot, and five of the last six, while cementing their place up at the top of the ladder. While the Swans will again try to make the game a grind, the Saints will be ready to work hard to make life difficult for Sydney's livewire forward, Tom Papley.
St. Kilda by 19 points
West Coast vs Geelong @ Optus Stadium - 20:10
At Optus Stadium on Saturday night, the red-hot Eagles take on a Geelong team that had better put in a better effort than they did against Fremantle when they scored 6-goals for the entire match. When thinking about the free-flowing form that West Coast put in against the Magpies last weekend, will there be anything the Cats can bring to this match that may get them across the line in first place? Let's see... Optus Stadium is a big ground, the Cats like small ones. The Eagles have one of the form ruckmen of the competition, the Cats certainly don't! West Coast can kick the ball through the big sticks, where Geelong kicked six goals twelve last round. This will likely either be a big upset, or a fair belting.
West Coast by 32 points
Gold Coast vs GWS Giants @ Metricon Stadium - 15:35
Our first Sunday match-up this round will see the 10th placed Gold Coast Suns take on the 12th placed GWS Giants at Metricon Stadium. In their last game, the Suns had a number of chances to get in front of their opponents, with at least five shots on goal in the last quarter that came up short, while the Giants started slowly before running over the top of the Tigers for a 12-point win. Both teams will be looking to stake their claims for a Top 8 spot, making for what should be an entertaining match between an upcoming team, and one that has been promising a lot but delivering less for a while now. As an aside, is there a Sun who can stop Toby Greene?
Gold Coast by 9 points
Fremantle vs Collingwood @ Optus Stadium - 18:10
In our last game of Round 9, the "two-goal wonders" Fremantle Dockers will be looking to redeem themselves, when they come up against Magpie outfit looking to stop the slide out of the Top 8. Last week the Dockers allowed the Cats to have 20 shots on goal across the match. Fortunately for Fremantle, Geelong had about as much success at kicking goals as... Collingwood did when they came up against a rampaging West Coast Eagles. While neither team was at all impressive last round, the Magpies kicked a score higher than one that could be described as a "tween". With Brodie Grundy in the ruck, and a backline needing to rectify what went wrong last week, the Pies should get the biscuits in this one.
Collingwood by 24